Christie Proposal Ends Dream of Homes We Can Afford

Proposal Creates a Divided State
Further Delay Sandy Recovery

Christie Proposal Ends Dream of Homes We Can AffordGovernor Christie Wednesday in the guise of conditionally vetoing legislation that would have suspended the non-residential developer fee, proposed to eviscerate New Jersey’s fair housing laws, effectively eliminating any requirement for every municipality to allow its fair share of homes that working families, seniors, and people with special needs can afford.

The proposal replaces New Jersey’s fair housing law with a token requirement that every new residential development pay a fee of $1,000 per home, to be used to undertake minor repairs such as repairing roofs on existing homes. There is no requirement in the bill to provide a single additional home anywhere in the state – ever.

Click here for the full conditional veto.

According to Fair Share Housing Center Associate Director Kevin Walsh:

“Governor Christie’s proposal would further divide our state. It would create two New Jerseys where people are divided by race and class and would be highly detrimental to the future of our state. Governor Christie apparently has not learned the lesson that segregation is bad for our state and our nation. Governor Christie’s housing proposal would allow the wealthy to live in isolated enclaves and to put up gates that exclude working families, seniors, and people with special needs, especially people of color. That’s not good for our society or our economy.”

Kevin Walsh said.

The proposed legislation, which is heavily modeled after legislation that Governor Christie put forward over three years ago in conditionally vetoing fair housing legislation passed by both houses in early 2011, would replace all current fair housing requirements with a $1,000 per new home fee towards minor repairs. That fee would satisfy any municipal housing obligation – leaving no requirement for any municipality to create a single new home.

“Governor Christie’s fair housing proposal hits particularly hard in the communities that still haven’t recovered from Sandy. Governor Christie should know, if he listened at all during his boardwalk tours this summer, that there is still a desperate need for replacement apartments and major repairs nearly two years after the storm, that a token fee of $1,000 will do nothing to address.”

“Governor Christie’s proposal also hits people with special needs particularly hard. As developmental centers are shut down and people struggle to find decent homes in integrated community settings, Governor Christie’s message could not be clearer: there is no place for you.”

Walsh added.

The conditionally vetoed legislation now goes to the Legislature, which the last time it was faced with similar legislation after Christie’s 2011 veto withdrew the bill after it became clear that Governor Christie was not interested in doing anything real about the need for homes in our state.

“We need to actually build homes if people are going to have places to live, Unfortunately, Governor Christie’s proposal destroys replaces the laws that are in place with a gimmick that will lead nowhere.”

Walsh added.