Tuesday, September 18, 2018

NJ trying again on plan to recycle foreclosed homes into affordable housing. NJ Builders Association likes the idea

A Senate committee has advanced a measure to give New Jersey towns double credits toward their obligation to ensure adequate housing if they buy foreclosed residential properties, then convert them into affordable housing. (David J. Phillip/AP Photo)
A Senate committee has advanced a measure to give New Jersey towns double credits toward their obligation to ensure adequate housing if they buy foreclosed residential properties, then convert them into affordable housing. (David J. Phillip/AP Photo)
Phil Gregory reports for WHYY:
New Jersey lawmakers are trying again on legislation to help increase the state’s stock of affordable housing after former Gov. Chris Christie vetoed similar legislation three times.
A Senate committee has advanced a measure to give towns double credits toward their obligation to ensure adequate housing if they buy foreclosed residential properties, then convert them into affordable housing.
It would be a creative solution to a vexing problem, said Staci Berger with the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.
“We have homes that have no people in them, and we have an enormous housing crisis of affordability. We simply do not have enough homes that people can afford,” she said. “So, taking places that don’t have people in them — and turning them into places than can have people in them — doesn’t seem like rocket science. It should be a no-brainer.”
Affordable housing activists say the plan would be a step forward in the state’s slow recovery from the foreclosure crisis. The continuing lag is hurting New Jersey’s economy.
The bill is also good public policy, said Jeff Kolakowski with the New Jersey Builders Association.


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