Ms. Wolfe’s organization is a subsidiary of NewBridge Services, and wrote not only about their experiences in developing supportive housing but all of those around the state:
As affordable housing providers in New Jersey, add our voice to the growing community of voices opposed to the state taking funds for permanent affordable housing out of municipalities’ hands to balance the state budget.
Gov. Chris Christie needs to understand that municipalities are caught between a rock and a hard place because of uncertainty about COAH’s fate and how the funds could be used. We support legislation that would extend the deadlines for at least two years to allow towns to use the funds in their communities.
Building permanent affordable housing adds value to the community and creates jobs. And the power of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund extends beyond its $169 million balance. Trust funds serve as leverage for projects; if a town can put up 20 percent of the cost, it can attract investment from other sources. That significantly magnifies the funds’ value.
We urge the governor and legislators to keep the money local, and municipal leaders to invest the funds in sound projects that will strengthen their communities.
We agree with Ms. Wolfe and encourage others to become engaged in both the preservation of these municipal trust funds as well as the Renewal of the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund. We need both in order to maintain a vibrant and effective supportive housing industry in NJ.