Housing Advocates: DCA Commissioner Should Explain How FY2015 Budget Will Repair NJ Housing Market
Commissioner Constable to testify at Assembly Budget hearing today


The Assembly Budget Committee will hear testimony today from Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard Constable regarding the department’s proposed fiscal year 2015 budget. The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) has outlined several questions its members hope the commissioner will address to invest in New Jersey’s housing market.

“Our state’s sluggish housing market is still holding back the rest of our economy, creating a challenge for working families and seniors searching for an affordable place to call home,” said Staci Berger, president and CEO of the Network. “Governor Christie has left residents and neighborhoods to face the foreclosure crisis on their own and Superstorm Sandy has exacerbated the state’s housing crisis. New Jersey’s budget needs to invest in the creation of homes people can afford.”

Housing advocates say they’d like to see the committee ask the following questions when the commissioner appears today:
  • How is DCA supporting housing counseling and organizations that provide counseling services, which is the most effective way to help families facing foreclosure?
  • What has the Christie Administration done to address the Supreme Court ruling that they promulgate the Council on Affordable Housing’s (COAH) Third Round Rules?
  • 40 percent of the families effected by Sandy were renters yet only 30 percent of the funding is going to this population. Why aren’t more funds being directed to low-income renters?
  • The Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program has proven to be widely successful. It has leveraged $7.30 for every NRTC dollar invested, created 30 new businesses and 826 jobs, and generated over 536,037 square feet of commercial space, 1,500 homes and nearly $4 million dollars in local property taxes. The program is currently oversubscribed, preventing organizations and investors from being able to revitalize neighborhoods that would benefit from these efforts. The Legislature previously increased the program from $10 million to $15 million, but Governor Christie indicated in his veto that this increase needed to be done as part of the budget and not as a separate proposal. Is there any plan to do this? Why or why not?
  • What is the governor’s plan to replenish the Special Needs Housing Trust Fund which has been depleted?

The Network is especially concerned about the Christie Administration’s ongoing use of the Affordable Housing Trust fund for other programs, Berger said, “Restoring just $25 million to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund would leverage at least $100 million in total housing investment and create 1,100 one-time jobs. New Jersey’s budget should support the creation of homes for working families, seniors and people with disabilities and improve the economic future for all of our state’s residents at the same time.”

The Housing and Community Development Network supports New Jersey’s community development sector, collaborating with more than 250 members including community development corporations and other organizations to create affordable homes, expand economic opportunities, and build strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit www.hcdnnj.org.

For more information: Nina Arce
Housing & Community Development Network of NJ
(609) 393-3752 x12
[email protected]
Twitter: @hcdnnj
Facebook:  facebook.com/hcdnnj