Housing advocates decry fund diversions

Published May 16, 2018
By Elana Knopp

More than 100 nonprofit community developers and housing advocates sent a letter this week to the Murphy administration and members of the New Jersey General Assembly expressing concern about the diversion of Affordable Housing Trust Fund money away from affordable housing.

The fund is used to support the State Rental Assistance Program, as well as various housing and homeless prevention services. In 2015, the New Jersey Superior Court’s Appellate Division blocked an attempt to use it for the state’s General Fund.

Staci Berger, president and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, cited New Jersey as No. 1 in foreclosures, the top state for millennials still living at home and the seventh most expensive place in the nation to rent a home.

“These are homes the residents of our state need and want,” Berger said. “The practice of diverting funds over the last decade has been an albatross on our housing market which is why it’s disappointing to see this practice continue. Our economy cannot thrive when people cannot afford to live here. Gov. Murphy and legislators can turn things around by using the Fund as intended and make the investment that helps make New Jersey a more affordable place we can all call home.”