New Jersey has been among the national leaders in mandating affordable housing development in all our communities. NJ has taken the important step of requiring that housing be created for the very low-income population that is most vulnerable to homelessness including but not limited to establishing the Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Yet more must be done to address New Jersey’s significant population of special needs and homeless residents in need of housing they can afford.
The first thing to do to end homelessness and create housing for all New Jersey residents with special needs, is to renew the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund. The program, under the auspices of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency has helped create quality housing people can afford with needed supportive services for over 2,000 families and individuals with special needs throughout New Jersey.
Click here to view the list of organizations endorsing the Plan
Other things NJ needs to do are:
Redirecting current expenditures
Using a portion of returned housing vouchers for project based housing
Reinvesting returned Municipal Housing Trust Funds (MHTF) into new affordable housing
Properly using federal foreclosure funds
Maximizing health care reform to utilize Medicaid to pay for services that allow people to remain permanently housed
Providing pre-development resources from trust funds and philanthropy
Encouraging business and philanthropic support
NEW LEGAL TOOL IS NEEDED: Right to Housing: The right to housing is the economic, social and cultural right to adequate housing and shelter. All New Jersey residents should have the right to housing. It is the responsibility of government to ensure that everyone who wants to has a safe decent place to sleep. No one should be forced to live on the streets or in any place not suitable for human habitation.
A POLICY SHIFT IS NEEDED: The Housing First Model: To the greatest extent possible people without a home should be given a permanent home over other forms of emergency shelter and other temporary housing.