Monarch Staff Lobbies for Housing Related Legislation in Trenton
On Monday, June 10, staff from Monarch Housing Associates attended the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey’s (the Network’s) Legislative Day. The day-long event, held at the New Jersey State House in Trenton, was spent hearing from national speakers, state government staff, members of the NJ General Assembly and speaking with elected officials.
The annual Legislative Day provides housing advocates with an opportunity to speak with elected officials, informing them on policy solutions to housing-related issues in the state.
The Legislative Day Priorities included…
- State Budget. Support the Governor’s budget recommendation to STOP diverting the Affordable Housing Trust Funds (AHTF, formerly Balanced Housing) and use that funding to increase the supply of affordable homes.
- Healthy Homes: Stop using children as guinea pigs to detect to detect lead poisoning and address mold.
- Code Red: Pass legislation to establish cooling centers during the hottest days of the summer.
- Require abandoned and foreclosed properties are maintained.
- Provide Tenants with the Right to a Safe, Decent Home.
There were over one hundred attendees at the event. Each attendee was briefed on the legislative priorities before breaking into local groups and meeting with State Senators and Assembly Members.
The group from Monarch Housing, including CEO Taiisa Kelly, Associate Kate Kelly and interns Mitch Kelly and Jillian Lapidus, spoke with State Senator Tom Kean, Assemblywoman Linda Carter, Assemblyman James Kennedy and Assemblyman Jamel Holley.
After meeting and discussing the specific housing needs in New Jersey, elected officials supported the bills in the legislative priorities, and some offered to cosponsor proposed bills.
Speakers addressing the Legislative Day audience included Network President and CEO Staci Berger, Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign Coordinator Chantelle Wilkinson, and several New Jersey elected officials.
Advocacy at the state level is incredibly important. However, we must also advocate on the federal level to push for federal funding and programs that increase the safety and accessibility of affordable housing. Register to join us on July 24 in Washington, D.C., as we remind elected officials in the federal government that housing is a right, housing is healthcare and housing creates healthy communities.