Thriving NJ Campaign Will make N.J. Affordable Again

Endorse the Thriving NJ Campaign Today and Encourage NJ’s Future leaders to Put $600 Million Into Housing

On January 14, 2017, the Star-Ledger featured a New Jersey opinion piece by Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) on the Thriving NJ Campaign.

Berger’s ope-ed was entitled “Christie, lawmakers can make N.J. affordable again by investing in housing.”

Berger references Governor Chris Christie’s recent State of the State address, “Not once in his speech did Christie mention the critical need to make New Jersey more affordable to its residents, an issue creating challenges for numerous households.”

Berger applauds Christie’s widely reported commitment to decreasing addiction in New Jersey but also makes the connection that his “attack on the Mount Laurel doctrine and unwillingness to adopt a sensible housing policy” hurts the ability of all New Jerseyans, including those with addiction issues, to afford safe, decent housing.

Writes Berger, “New Jersey remains number one in the nation for zombie and standard foreclosures, and is the fifth most expensive place to rent in the nation. We also top the nation in the number of millennials living with their parents. People here are still recovering from the cutbacks and layoffs from the last recession which continues to shackle our economy.”

In response to the housing crisis facing New Jersey, the Network has launched a campaign, Build a Thriving New Jersey, and is seeking organizational endorsements and volunteers for the campaign.

New Jersey’s future leaders must commit to making the investments needed to make sure everyone can afford to call New Jersey home. Organizations that are working to strengthen neighborhoods, boost our economy, and create opportunities for residents should endorse the Build a Thriving New Jersey effort.

Writes Berger, “In order to build a thriving New Jersey, the governor, legislators and future state leaders need to support policies and invest in programs to get our economy back on track .. Going forward, we urge our elected officials to commit to invest $600 million annually into homes we can afford so that all of us can call New Jersey home.”

Concludes Berger, “Putting $600 million back into programs that have helped strengthen our communities is a financial investment certain to produce economic returns across the state and benefit all people who call New Jersey home.

Our families, friends and neighbors are the heart of our state and the backbone of our economy. If we can’t afford to live here, we can’t get our economy back on track. We encourage our state leaders to help build a thriving New Jersey by making investments that create jobs, boosts economic activity, and lifts everyone up who call New Jersey home.”

Only then can we say the state of our state is strong.

Star-Ledger Op-Ed

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