Facing an Eviction Crisis, NJ Should Protect Housing Fund Amid Pandemic Recovery
Over 100 community leaders, non-profit developers and social justice advocates urge legislators to preserve NJ Affordable Housing Trust Fund


Nonprofit developers, community leaders and social justice advocates today urged the New Jersey Legislature to protect the state’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) from a planned diversion proposed in the state budget. The letter sent by more than 100 organizations and experts explained the risks of moving funds intended to create affordable homes for lower-income New Jerseyans to programs that were likely to benefit higher-income residents. In addition, Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) President and Chief Executive Officer Staci Berger issued the following statement:

“The proposed state budget includes several important housing investments that help address the state’s racial and economic disparities. We can meet these goals without going backwards to the past practice of diverting the AHTF for other purposes. We urge the Legislature to protect the promise of housing choices to the most vulnerable New Jersey residents and essential, front line workers.

“The demand in NJ’s communities is to generate more affordable homes for lower income residents. A recent report found that Newark alone needs 16,000 affordable rental apartments for residents there. NJ is on the cusp of a major housing crisis as a result of the pandemic and there is not enough inventory to meet the demand for affordable homes. We agree that homeownership is an important objective, and look forward to working with state leaders to use private sector products and other public investments to that end.”

According to housing advocates, down payment assistance and other housing investments to bridge the racial wealth gap are important, and can be accomplished without diverting the AHTF. Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation (GSECDC), just one of the Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey’s nearly 270 members, is able to use funds to reach lower-income, Black and brown residents and pair Community Reinvestment Act mortgages to obtain private market financial assistance. In Jersey City, GSECDC has built 72 affordable homes, 69 of which were purchased by Black and brown homeowners with an average income of $48,000. Bus drivers, security guards and physician assistants, many of whom obtained $5,000 each in down payment help, are now homeowners in their own community.

To view the letter, visit https://tinyurl.com/notrustfundraid

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 270 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 www.hcdnnj.org.

For more information: Nina Rainiero
(609) 393-3752 x1200
Website: hcdnnj.org
Twitter site: twitter.com/hcdnnj
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