The following are excerpts from an op-ed column by Congressman Steve Rothman was published in the Bergen Record newspaper on January 4, 2007.
Let’s make sure housing is affordable for all
By STEVE ROTHMAN
The lack of affordable housing has plagued New Jersey residents for far too long. In fact, affordable housing is out of reach for most Americans, especially those who live in the Northeast. As a result of soaring housing costs, it is estimated that there are only 30 to 40 affordable housing units available for every 100 low-income families in New Jersey. Nationwide, up to 70 percent of low-income families have no access to affordable housing
….In the 110th Congress, I will introduce two critical affordable housing bills.
My first bill will create 150,000 new Section 8 housing vouchers. The need for more housing assistance vouchers is so dire that 75 percent of those who qualify for public housing assistance cannot receive Section 8 housing vouchers because of the lack of availability.
My second bill offers a long-term solution to the funding problems faced by local public housing authorities. Currently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development distributes Section 8 voucher funding to local agencies based on a misguided formula that looks at the funding housing agencies needed during a specific three-month period in 2004. It then assumes that is the amount needed today.