This was to be the year that everyone on New Jersey’s developmental disabilities waiting list would be adequately housed in permanent, affordable housing with appropriate supportive services. In 1998 the list, according to an article in today’s Star-Ledger entitled “N.J. fails to fulfill promise to house disabled: Waiting list for aid grows to more than 8,000 instead of being eliminated“, was to be eliminated. Instead the list that contained 4,700 names a decade ago now has more than 8,000! To read the full article click here.
The article succinctly sums up the issue by stating the obvious. “The list surpassed even the early dire predictions in part because no money was spent on housing for disabled people for five of the past 10 years.” We cannot solve a problem by ignoring it. The situation could be even more bleak this year.
The Arc of New Jersey, a family advocacy group, is trying to attract political and financial support to reduce the waiting list but has been unable to gain any traction as most state lawmakers are focused on a looming budget deficit and Gov. Jon Corzine’s plan to pay down the state’s debt by raising highway tolls.
“We know the score. New Jersey is going through tough times,” said Tom Baffuto, The Arc’s executive director. “We are in a year where we’ll be facing draconian budget cuts. But this is the number one priority with our families. We think this is a crisis situation that is only going to get worse.”
To read the full article click here.