Create Affordable Homes, Boost the Economy

Affordable Homes will Make New Jersey a State that Thrives Because We Can All Afford to Call Home

On Saturday February 24, 2018, the Star-Ledger featured a guest column by Staci Berger, urging the Governor Phil Murphy and the State of New Jersey to “Create affordable homes, boost the economy.”

Berger is the President and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network.)

“The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) has proposed a plan to invest in proven mechanisms that can turn our economy around; 104 nonprofit community developers and housing advocates have endorsed a set of recommendations aimed at addressing affordability and boosting the state’s economy.

They focus on six areas including: producing more affordable homes and improving neighborhoods, reducing the impact of foreclosures, preventing and ending homelessness, fostering healthy homes and communities, supporting the critical role played by the non-profit sector in both keeping people in a home and providing affordable homes, and tenants’ rights. Specifically, advocates are urging Gov. Phil Murphy and legislative leaders to restore $600 million annually into a strategic set of housing and community investments that have been siphoned away in recent years.”

New Jersey faces an affordable housing crisis exacerbated by its high foreclosure rate and increasingly high rents.

“Too many residents are struggling to make ends meet and when people are barely able to afford their rent or mortgage, they don’t spend on activities that stimulate the economy. New Jersey has plenty of luxury homes but we need more modest affordable rentals and starter homes for our diverse population.”

“Making investments that create affordable homes and revitalize communities delivers big returns.

Creating affordable housing helps states’ economies.

“Recently, the National Association of Home Builders found that building 100 multi-family homes generates $11.7 million in local income, $2.2 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 161 local jobs in the first year. Another investment making big returns is the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program. This $10 million dollar per year program leverages over $5 per dollar invested in some of New Jersey’s most distressed communities. Since its inception in 2002, it’s generated 2,524 jobs and over $3.9 million in property taxes. Imagine what can be accomplished if New Jersey were to expand that program.”

Berger reminded Murphy of his promises during his campaign to address New Jersey’s affordable housing crisis.

“During his campaign, Murphy outlined a plan to make home-ownership in the state more affordable and accessible. He also pledged to end the practice of diverting affordable home funding to other parts of the state budget, to expand counseling programs to keep people in their homes and repurposing foreclosed properties as affordable homes, and to increase tax credits to create new homes.

We can achieve these objectives. We can make New Jersey a place that thrives and where we can all afford to call home.”

Create affordable homes, boost the economy

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3 comments comments closed

  1. Were these statements ‘100 multi-family homes generates $11.7 million in local income, $2.2 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and 161 local jobs in the first year.’ verified by an independent analysis. NAHB is an advocacy group that has a specific agenda and like all advocacy groups tailors numbers to fit their storyline. Also, NJ is loosing more citizens per year than gaining (NJ most likely will loose 2 house seats in 2020 which indicates NJ will have 1.4 million less residents). Is that reduction included in your estimates.

    Lastly, what about impacts to current homeowners. You say folks have problems struggling with mortgages. Most mortgages are tailored to pay simultaneously property taxes. Is it the note to the bank folks are struggling to pay for or the constant increases in property taxes (which seem to increase faster than inflation) that folks struggle to pay? Maybe if you reduce property taxes, people wont struggle paying their mortgages. Also, you cannot fix problems that folks cause themselves (get into a mortgage or rental agreement that far exceeds current and potential salaries) and it is not fair for the remaining tax payers to pick up the bill to resolve those issues. Note that you when say the government, you imply the citizens that pay taxes have the responsibility.

  2. I recently posted. What happened to it? I don’t think you like comments that do not follow the party line.

  3. There is a great grassroots movement statewide FB campaign: “NJ-stop the madness”. We are hoping for residents to join in attempts to ameliorate all the high density market rate residential that sneaks in along with our COAH mandates. We certainly understand the issue of unaffordability, but we cant accept the 80-85% market rate units that developers force us to accept with it. We cant sacrifice our host state for this overdevelopment that impacts our schools, infrastructure and resources-this is not the purpose of the COAH mandates. Please, staci berger, we need your help and support to work this issue out and together come up with proper alternatives.

    check out our facebook page “NJ-stop the madness (of overdevelopment)” The site so far in 4 weeks 800 members, 45 towns. Thanks for your attention to this serious issue affecting us all.