Six Areas New Administration Can Target to Boost NJ Economy
NJ community developers produce recommendations addressing affordability


104 nonprofit community developers and housing advocates have issued a set of recommendations aimed at addressing affordability and boosting the state’s economy. Developed by the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ (the Network), the recommendations urge Governor-elect Murphy and legislative leaders to restore $600 million annually into a strategic set of housing and community investments that has been siphoned away in recent years.

“The Christie Administration’s failure to make public investments into our communities has hampered New Jersey’s ability to thrive,” said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network. “While corporations have been granted generous tax breaks, our hardworking families, seniors, and residents living with special needs have struggled to make ends meet. New Jersey needs the Murphy Administration and new Legislature to restore the resources that have been siphoned away for the last decade, so our housing market, our economy and our neighbors can flourish.”

NJ has struggled following the Great Recession, Superstorm Sandy, and the foreclosure crisis. Last year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition found NJ to be the sixth least affordable place in the U.S. for renters. New Jersey continues to be number one in foreclosures; last year, RealtyTrac reported NJ’s foreclosure process rate to be more than twice the national average. Despite the dire need for housing investment, and the available resources, the Christie Administration did not use the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) to support housing starts as required. Last used in 2008, the AHTF provided $50 million for the production of affordable homes. From 2011 to 2017, that investment has dropped dramatically, to only $2 million. At the same time, the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund, which began in 2005 with $200 million, ran out of money in 2011.

“For nearly a decade, investments that created affordable homes, prevented homelessness, protected health, and revitalized neighborhoods have been shredded or eliminate completely,” said Berger. “The funds have been collected, but they have not been spent as intended.”

The recommendations supported by 104 organizations encourage the state’s new leaders to support policies and programs focusing on six areas including: producing more affordable homes and improving neighborhoods, reduce the impact of foreclosures, prevent and end homelessness, foster healthy homes and communities, support the critical role played by the non-profit sector in both keeping people in a home and providing affordable homes, and tenants’ rights.

According to the campaign website of Governor-elect Murphy, the incoming governor outlined a plan to make homeownership in the state more affordable and accessible. Murphy 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 for foreclosed properties as affordable homes, to increase tax credits to create new homes, and to lower property taxes by incentivizing shared services and restoring rebates to low-income households, seniors and disabled residents.

“We’re encouraged by the pledges made by the governor-elect during his campaign,” said Berger. “We look forward to working with the new administration and legislative leaders to get our state’s economy back on track by making NJ a place we can all call home.”

To view the recommendations, visit

About the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ
The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey is the statewide association of more than 250 community development corporations, individuals and other organizations that support the creation of affordable homes, economic opportunities, and strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit

For more information: Nina Rainiero
(609) 393-3752 x1200
(609) 789-7900
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