N.J. Courts Key to Continuing Fair Housing Options in State

Affordable Housing Gives
Families “Chance to Dream Again”

Kilmer Homes Leasing Brand New ApartmentsOn December 18, 2014, the Star-Ledger featured the opinion piece, “N.J. Courts Key to Continuing Fair Housing Options in State” authored by Monarch Housing’s Asish Patel and Katie Brennan.

Patel and Brennan call on the New Jersey Supreme Court to:

“Act to make sure there are fair options for everyone – especially homeless families, seniors, veterans, people with special needs and households at risk of homelessness.”

They urge the courts to act soon to break the impasse, take decisive action, and move forward.

“Simply continuing the status quo and the endless, and at this point useless, Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) process is not an option for homeless families.”

Across the state, affordable housing transforms the lives of formerly homeless families or those who once faced the risk of homelessness.

“Ashley, 30, a high school graduate who hopes to attend college, now manages a physical therapy office. Her (three) children thrive in school and enjoy having friends over for play dates. Her 10-year-old daughter made honor roll for the first time. Ashley, who hopes to attend college, says she ‘never pictured herself with a beautiful two-story home’ and she has ‘the chance to dream again.”

Write Patel and Brennan.

“Unfortunately, the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), which was responsible for implementing New Jersey’s Fair Housing Act with new rules by Nov. 17, in April proposed regulations that would not create more affordable houses for families … The proposed regulations give a very narrow definition of special needs or supportive housing as just appropriate for households with developmental disabilities.”

“New Jersey faces a homelessness crisis. On the night of Jan. 28, 2014, 13,900 homeless men, women and children were counted across the state. NJ Counts 2014, conducted by Monarch Housing Associates, found that an overall increase of almost 16 percent, compared with the 2013 count. Many of these households experience homelessness due to a severe lack of homes that lower-income people can afford.”

Write Patel and Brennan.

This year’s NJ Counts event is scheduled for January 28, 2015 and will provide us with an “update” on the picture of homelessness in our state. Because the severe shortage of affordable housing continues, it is likely that that the number of homeless families may remain stagnant or even worse, increase.

Click here to read the full article.