Region Nine UAW Housing Calls on Towns to Comply with Mount Laurel Doctrine and Expand Affordable Housing
On October 3, 2018, The Star-Ledger published a guest column, “Affordable housing push delivering homes to those who need it most” by Dan Antonellis, the president of the Region Nine UAW Housing Corporation.
Writes Antonellis, “Region Nine UAW Housing Corporation understands firsthand the origins of New Jersey’s housing affordability crisis.”
- Region Nine Housing Corporation is a non-profit organization, founded by the United Auto Workers Union in 1970, working in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to sponsor, promote, and provide affordable housing to meet the needs of low to moderate income seniors, persons with disabilities, and families.
“Thanks to that Mount Laurel doctrine, our mission has expanded over the decades, from workforce housing to providing supportive and wraparound services to working families, seniors and people with disabilities.”
“Yet despite the nearly 1,200 affordable housing units we maintain throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we must constantly turn away families in need for lack of availability. That’s because, despite New Jersey’s strong laws, towns are constantly attempting to backslide.”
Former Governor Chris Christie’s administration created a system of gridlock that did not allow for enforcement of the Mount Laurel Doctrine.
But today, Region Nine Housing Corporation is encouraged by the work by Governor Phil Murphy’s administration to make progress with New Jersey’s state fair housing laws.
“About 220 towns across the state now have local fair housing plans in place, paving the way for the construction of tens of thousands of new homes affordable to working families.
Municipalities are working with nonprofits such as ours to develop both mixed-income and 100-percent-affordable projects that serve working families, seniors, the formerly homeless, people with disabilities and other families with special needs.”
Antonellis cited the critical role that state and federal government partner with local government to help create affordable housing by providing low-interest loans, tax credits and other critical subsidies that build affordable housing.
“The Mount Laurel doctrine continues to be at the center of addressing the state’s unmet need because it forces towns to focus on the problem of housing affordability and prevents them from throwing up roadblocks.”
Antonellis points to the incredible need of affordable homes for thousands of families across the state and need high-quality housing homes in communities with good school systems, their jobs and their families.
“We need to build on the success we’re already achieving.”
“It’s time for the state’s remaining towns to come to the table and negotiate in good faith with housing advocates to get shovels in the ground as quickly as possible to build new homes for New Jersey’s working families who have already waited too long.”