NJ Housing Crisis Worsens

First Place Tough to Find
Hard to Afford

Staci BergerOn July 1, 2014, the Star-Ledger featured an Op-Ed piece, “NJ housing crisis: ‘Our first place’ is tough to find, hard to afford,” by Housing and Community Development Network President (HCDNNJ) and CEO Staci Berger.

“Now, many young couples can’t find a decent, affordable place to live near their work. Often, moving in with one of their parents is the best alternative.”

Writes Berger, compared to young couples living in New Jersey in the past.

The slow recoveries from the recession and Sandy along with the mortgage crisis has made it even harder for anyone with a low or fixed income to afford a home in New Jersey.

“While the need for affordable homes has grown, New Jersey’s investment in building and rehabilitating these homes has dropped dramatically the past few years. Funding for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund – which is intended to create new or rehabilitated homes that will stay affordable for many years – has shrunk to zero. Gov. Chris Christie has redirected those funds into the State Rental Assistance Program, which is supposed to be paid for by general revenue.”

Says Berger.

Failure to increase funding for affordable housing has an impact,

” If people cannot afford their homes, they may be forced to skimp on other basic needs, including food and clothing. And if people are pinching pennies, they’re not spending money in the stores, restaurants and other businesses that keep our state’s economy strong.”

“Development in New Jersey needs to evolve with the changing times and produce the affordable homes New Jerseyans need and want.”

Berger calls for the state to create more affordable housing now.

Berger joined two other housing experts for a live chat about the state of New Jersey’s housing market.

Click here for the full opinion piece.

Click here for more information about the live chat.