Working for Smart Growth:
More Livable Places and Open Spaces

 

Response to Passage of S-1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 10, 2010

CONTACT:
Rick Sinding, Senior Communications Consultant (609) 529-2885 or (609) 393-0008, ext. 109

The following statement was issued by Peter Kasabach, Executive Director of New Jersey Future, following the passage of S-1 in the New Jersey Senate:

We have little doubt that the good folks looking to re-shape the state’s affordable-housing policy are doing so with their own reasonable intentions. Unfortunately, the product of these intentions, embodied in the just-passed S-1 legislation, creates an affordable-housing system that can only be described as a non-affordable housing system. The current proposal will: 1) produce fewer opportunities for low- and moderate-income households, and has the strong possibility of creating absolutely no opportunities at all; 2) generate less funding to subsidize housing; and 3) remove any accountability from the state or towns to even attempt to create affordable housing, let alone actually produce any.

In an effort to “blow up the Council on Affordable Housing” and create a system that relies on local good will to generate housing that isn’t being produced by the market, the Senate has thrown out the baby, the bathwater and the tub. This may be viewed by some people as a necessary and radical re-thinking of affordable housing, but that would be the case only if the new system had some chance of producing affordable housing, especially near jobs and transportation choices. We have repeatedly asked those involved to explain how the new system will result in more affordable-housing opportunities (or any opportunities, for that matter), and we have yet to receive a cogent answer.

We and others have provided reasonable alternatives to the current bill, but in the haste to advance S-1, these alternatives have been dismissed. We hope the Assembly will take time to analyze the current bill and will make amendments or extend the discussion period to incorporate better ideas that will result in a functional affordable-housing system. Affordable housing is a critical component of our economic and social prosperity; it is too important to the health of our state to allow it to be so impetuously eliminated.

© New Jersey Future, 16 W. Lafayette St. • Trenton, NJ 08608 • Phone: 609-393-0008 • Fax: 609-360-8478