Thursday, July 6, 2017

Assemblyman Green Announces New Housing for Youth Aging out of Foster Care

News from
Speaker Pro Tempore Green
For Release:
Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green
Housing & Community Development Committee Chair
p: 609-465-0700
July 6, 2017

Assemblyman Green Announces New Housing for
Youth Aging out of Foster Care

Plainfield YMCA will Undergo Major Rehabilitation to Include 31 New Units

(PLAINFIELD, NJ) - Assemblyman Jerry Green announced Thursday that a portion of the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in Plainfield will be rehabilitated into affordable housing for youth, ages18-24, who are aging out of foster care.

The developer, Eastern Pacific Development, LLC, anticipates construction to begin in December 2017 with an anticipated completion date of May 2019.

The $9.5 million project includes bridge financing recently committed from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Financing Agency (HMFA) during their June 27, 2017 board meeting. The financing includes a $4.86 million permanent bridge loan from revenue bond financing and approximately $3 million in permanent financing from the Sandy Special Needs Housing Fund (SSNHF). Additional sources of income include $6 million in construction financing from New Jersey Community Capital and $500,000 in capital funds from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. The borrower is also applying for 4 percent tax credits.

“I would like to thank the State of New Jersey and congratulate YMCA President Ravenell Williams and YMCA Board President Kieran Anderson, for working with my office on these efforts. This is a unique housing project in Plainfield that many state residents will benefit from.  We will be home to only the second facility in the state to provide housing for youth aging out of foster care. I couldn’t be happier than to know that our Queen City is leading the way in providing these life-changing services,” said Assemblyman Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union).

The existing vacant and dilapidated units located on the second and third floors of the YMCA property will be demolished and substantially rehabilitated to include the new construction of 31 units, at an average of 413 square feet per unit. The building will be also expanded by approximately 5,000 square feet. Thirty of the efficiency units will be designated for youth aging out of foster care and one rent-free unit set aside for the superintendent. The first and fourth floors will remain YMCA facilities.

All units will have private kitchens and bathrooms and Energy Star appliances.  Elevator service, a secured entrance, common laundry facilities, office space for property management and support service functions, on-site parking, and access to all YMCA facilities will also be offered. Additional items in the scope of work include the installation of an elevator, replacement of roof, renovation of downstairs lobby entrance, and new security camera system.

Case management services will be available to the residents, including skills development, housing, education/vocational training, physical/mental health and employment.

The project, located in a Smart Growth Area and a Metro Planning Area, is within walking distance to a grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants, Union County College, social services, buses, and a train station.

Vanguard Realty will provide property management services, with the Plainfield YMCA providing onsite management and maintenance personnel. Security will be staffed 24/7 with the existing security staff that presently services the building.

The proposed net rents, set at Union County Fair Market Rents, are $1,007 per month. The project will provide Section 8 Rental Assistance Vouchers through the Housing Authority of Plainfield.

The developer, Eastern Pacific Development, located in Vineland, specializes in high quality housing, assisting municipalities in meeting their obligation to provide affordable housing, often with the added benefit of renovating older, deteriorating buildings into modern housing complexes. Brookfield Construction will serve as the General Contractor. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Green, Sumter & Oliver Bill to Help Families Avoid Foreclosure Clears Assembly Panel

For Release

June 19, 2017

Majority Press Office

Green, Sumter & Oliver Bill to Help Families Avoid Foreclosure Clears Assembly Panel

            (TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Jerry Green, Shavonda Sumter and Sheila Oliver to help families at risk of losing their homes avoid foreclosure and keep their homes was approved Monday by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.

            The bill (A-2036) would establish a Foreclosure Prevention and Neighborhood Stabilization Trust Fund in the Department of Community Affairs. Money allocated to the fund would be utilized for foreclosure prevention activities, such as legal services to low and moderate income homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure, mediation services, and training for non-governmental groups who assist homeowners in addressing the foreclosure process.

“New Jersey continues to have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country,” said Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union), who chairs the committee. “Foreclosures undermine the health and economic vitality of neighborhoods, particularly in urban neighborhoods where a disproportionate share of foreclosures take place. This fund can help residents keep their homes and prevent the adverse effects of foreclosure on families and neighborhoods.”

“Foreclosures lead to billions of dollars in lost property value and result in millions of dollars of additional expenses to state and local governments,” said Sumter (D-Passaic/Bergen). “It is in the best economic interest of the state to give homeowners who are facing foreclosure the resources needed to keep their homes and avoid the harmful effects of foreclosures on our communities.”

“Foreclosures, particularly in urban neighborhoods, often result in abandonment and deterioration of the property, creating additional financial pressures on local governments and severely destabilizing the neighborhoods where the properties are located,” said Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic). “By providing resources to both public and not-for-profit entities to assist individuals at risk of foreclosure, we can help prevent this financial burden on neighborhoods and municipalities.”

The fund would be financed through a temporary $800 surcharge placed on each foreclosure complaint filed in the state. The surcharge would expire five years after the bill’s effective date, or when the annual number of foreclosure complaints filed is less than 20,000, whichever occurs first.

The Department of Community Affairs would provide up to $500,000 from the fund to train qualified vendors to provide training to local governments and non-profit entities undertaking neighborhood stabilization efforts. The department may utilize $500,000 in the first year of the fund, and $300,000 each year thereafter, for the purpose of collecting and disseminating foreclosure data.  Following these disbursements from the fund, the next $10 million collected during the fiscal year would be allocated to qualified non-profit entities for the purpose of maintaining or expanding their foreclosure prevention programs. Entities receiving these funds would issue quarterly reports detailing the success of their foreclosure prevention programs.

Any funds disbursed in excess of $10 million must be provided to local governments, public authorities, or non-profit community development or housing organizations to mitigate the negative secondary effects of foreclosures in residential neighborhoods. These funds may be used to purchase, repair, or demolish vacant properties on which a notice of foreclosure has been served.

This legislation would require a municipality that utilizes money from the fund for code enforcement or nuisance abatement purposes to make a diligent effort to recover the expended funds from the property owner or the creditor seeking to foreclose on the property.

Under the bill, creditors would have to report to the department on a quarterly basis to provide information, segregated by county and municipality, pertaining to the status and disposition of each foreclosure action, specifying whether such action was disposed of through sheriff’s sale, short sale, or loan modification, and the terms of the modification, refinancing, or any other outcome.  Under the bill, the report must be provided no later than 30 days following the end of each quarter, and a copy of the quarterly report also shall be submitted to the Department of Community Affairs in the same manner and time as prescribed for submission to the Department of Banking and Insurance.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017



Helping needy N.J. families find homes

After more than 15 years of gridlock in Trenton, help is finally coming to central New Jersey residents who have been struggling with finding and keeping affordable homes.
Families throughout the state are beginning to see the positive effects of living in affordable homes in inclusive neighborhoods in New Jersey.

Pummeled by the effects of the recession and an ongoing wave of foreclosures, working families, seniors and those with disabilities are having a difficult time maintaining a home amid New Jersey’s sky-high property values. Many homes and apartments are too expensive to live in when located in suburban communities. This pricing crisis limits families from accessing good schools and employment opportunities located in these communities.

The fight to address the needs of New Jersey families received amajor boost in January when the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision upholding the state’s fair housing laws. These laws, known as the Mount Laurel doctrine, require that towns do their fair share to preserve and build new homes that are affordable for working families.

The court’s ruling is a great triumph for families with modest incomes and a major blow to generations of exclusionary policies that have caused the prices of housing to explode in New Jersey. These exclusionary policies are the cause of making our state one of the most segregated in the country.
It also gives a big boost to nonprofit housing developers, such as HomeFirst, which have spent years working with local communities and intimately understand local housing needs.

Thanks to strong leadership from the courts and legislative leaders, more than 100 municipalities across the state have reached agreements to satisfy obligations to build or restore more than 32,000 homes. These towns range from large suburbs such as Toms River and Edison to small boroughs like Ho-Ho-Kus and Chatham. Construction has already begun to implement these settlements and get some of New Jersey neediest families into permanent homes, including in Cherry Hill and Woodbridge.
Seven towns in Union County are adopting housing plans totaling more than 2,000 homes. These towns are Berkeley Heights, Clark, Fanwood, New Providence, Roselle Park, Springfield and Summit. The plans focus on revitalizing the county’s historic downtown areas, increasing transit access and promoting the redevelopment of vacant office parks, strip malls and industrial centers into vibrant new communities.
Other municipalities are currently in settlement talks with advocates to get housing plans approved. Princeton, for instance, recently announced that it achieved a settlement in principle with housing advocates that will expand opportunities for New Jersey residents.

We have also received strong support from Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Union), who chairs the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee and has championed legislation to strengthen the Mount Laurel doctrine while also beating back numerous attempts by Gov. Chris Christie to weaken our fair-housing framework.

As a local builder of quality affordable homes, we have seen firsthand how this recent progress will translate into real help for New Jersey families.

HomeFirst manages several properties and apartment units that serve as temporary housing for families in transition and permanent supportive housing for families with physical or mental disabilities. We also provide all the support services required to help families become self-sufficient. The final step is to help these families find permanent housing that is affordable and offers the same access to good schools and thriving neighborhoods.

We need to continue building on these successes by supporting the legal process currently underway in courtrooms across New Jersey to assign housing obligations to municipalities and to set out clear plans for getting additional homes built.
That is the only way we will be able to make our Constitution’s goal of fair housing a reality. And the only way we will finally tackle the housing affordability crisis.

Debbie-Ann Anderson is executive director of HomeFirst Interfaith Housing and Family Services Inc., a nonprofit provider and developer of affordable housing based in Plainfield. She wrote this article for The Star-Ledger.

Exclusionary policies are the cause of making our state one of the most segregated in the country.

Friday, March 10, 2017

If Gov. Christie is Sincere about Expungement, he would Work with the Assembly

News from
Speaker Pro Tempore Green
For Release:
Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green
Housing & Community Development Committee Chair
p: 609-465-0700
March 10, 2017

Green: If Gov. Christie is Sincere about Expungement, he would Work with the Assembly
Law to reform NJ’s expungement laws was spearheaded by Assembly Democrats

            (TRENTON) – Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union) issued the following statement on Friday chastising the governor for excluding the Assembly as he works on expungement legislation, when it was the Assembly that spearheaded the issue and initiated the law to reform the state’s expungement laws. Sponsored by the Green, the law (A-206-471-1663-2879-3060-3108) reduced the statutory waiting period for an expungement of a criminal conviction.

“It took years to finally get the governor to support this issue.
“We worked on the bill, sent it to him, adhered to the recommendations in his conditional veto for the sake of those who we were trying to help, and got the bill signed into law.
“For the governor to now ignore the Assembly as he focuses on expungement is a slap in the face.
“He had the opportunity to add to the bill back then, but he didn’t.
“Instead, he’s reached out to the Senate to help craft legislation, even though we already have something in the books. I would be happy to work with him if he wanted to strengthen the law. I would’ve been happy to do it last year, when we sent the measure to his desk for final approval.

“But to ignore the Assembly leadership, as if we have not been working on this before he thought it was a good idea, is disrespectful, and makes me question his sincerity about who he’s really trying to help.”


News from
Speaker Pro Tempore Green
For Release:
Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green
Housing & Community Development Committee Chair
p: 609-465-0700
March 10, 2017

Green on School Funding: “I Will Not Accept Getting Less than What Our Students Deserve”
Lawmaker raises concerns about impact of flat school funding in governor’s proposed budget on public school districts that are already struggling financially

            (TRENTON) – Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union) issued a statement Friday in support of Plainfield students who protested against budget cuts proposed by the school district, and reiterated that he would not support any budget proposals by Gov. Christie that would make the financial burden even greater for Plainfield and other public school districts.

            “I commend those students who made their voiced heard, respectfully and peacefully, about the impact these cuts would have on their education. The Plainfield School District is proposing cuts to plug an $8 million budget hole, that if approved, would have a detrimental impact on the quality of educational services these students receive. If this wasn’t worrisome enough, school aid remains flat in the governor’s proposed budget, meaning there might be greater financial challenges ahead for Plainfield and similar districts.
            “The governor has challenged us to work with him on a new school funding plan. I don’t know how long this spirit of collaboration will last, but I will do my due diligence to ensure that our students are not deprived of the resources needed to succeed. I will not accept getting less than what these students deserve.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


fshc logo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                    FEBRUARY 15, 2017

Assemblyman Green's office: Maria C. Del Cid - (908) 561-5757
Fair Share Housing Center: Anthony Campisi - (732) 266-8221,

Plainfield - Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union), the Chairman of the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee, together with the Fair Share Housing Center, the New Jersey State Conference of the NAACP, and the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey, is proud to highlight initiatives taken by seven Union County municipalities to expand access to homes affordable to working and moderate-income families. 

For more than a decade, the Legislature, with the leadership of Assemblyman Green, has stood firm against proposals meant to undermine New Jersey's commitment to fair housing. Following the failure of the Council on Affordable Housing to comply with those laws, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued decisions requiring municipalities to meet their fair housing obligations under the Mount Laurel doctrine under the supervision of the state's trial courts.

Aided by a series of strong laws that have remained on the books, Fair Share has worked with seven Union County municipalities to implement fair share plans that establish fair housing obligations of more than 2,000 homes. These plans focus on revitalizing the county's historic downtown areas, increasing transit access and promoting the redevelopment of vacant office parks, strip malls, and industrial centers into vibrant new communities.

"Homes in New Jersey cost too much, and I am proud that so many Union County municipalities have stepped up to the plate to provide opportunities for lower-income New Jerseyans," Assemblyman Green said. "Encouraging redevelopment is good for towns and good for working folks and people with disabilities.  

Taxpayers overwhelmingly support New Jersey's fair housing laws and don't want their money wasted on fighting those laws.  I am proud to have stood strong against attacks of the landmark Mount Laurel doctrine. Our support of New Jersey families is now paying off with agreements that will lead to the development of tens of thousands of new homes throughout the state. I am particularly pleased that towns in Union County have led the way in reaching fair settlements that put plans in place to expand opportunities in Central Jersey."

Seven towns in Union County currently have agreements in place resolving their housing obligations: Berkeley Heights, Clark, Fanwood, New Providence, Roselle Park, Springfield, and Summit. Several additional municipalities are in active negotiations with housing advocates and are expected to soon announce settlements.

Together, the seven municipalities are working with for-profit developers on projects to fight blight through redevelopment. They are also partnering with non-profits to provide homes for people with disabilities.

"Many municipalities in New Jersey support our state's fair housing laws," said Kevin D. Walsh, Executive Director of the Fair Share Housing Center. "A growing consensus is now solidifying among municipalities that they can and should meet their fair housing obligations. Assemblyman Green and the Legislature have shown strong leadership in standing by working families, seniors, and people with disabilities so that good homes are provided throughout our state in all communities."

"Non-profits around the state are working with local municipal officials and residents to make sure that their communities meet their responsibilities and create homes that people can afford," said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.  

"In Summit, for example, non-profit developers won a commitment to include 50 homes around the community; this is a model that can be used in other towns that integrate new homes in neighborhoods.  We are proud to work with Assemblyman Green and others in the Legislature to ensure that all residents can afford to call New Jersey home."

Assemblyman Green also believes that January's unanimous ruling from the New Jersey Supreme Court affirming municipalities' fair housing obligations will lead to additional settlements throughout the state and create more much-needed homes.

"The recent Supreme Court victory is a pivotal moment in the fight for access to opportunity for everyone in our state," said Richard T. Smith, President of the New Jersey NAACP. "Despite being one of the most diverse states in the country, restrictive zoning laws have long excluded African American and Latino families from moving into certain communities. As a longtime champion of minority and working families, we look forward to continuing to advance an opportunity agenda in partnership with Assemblyman Green."

In addition to leading the fight to protect the Mount Laurel doctrine, Assemblyman Green also sponsored landmark legislation in 2008 that prevented a small group of wealthy towns from avoiding meeting their fair housing obligations by paying for minimal improvements to existing homes in urban areas through the use of Regional Contribution Agreements.

"Our work prohibiting additional RCAs laid the groundwork for the successes we are seeing in the ongoing fair housing process," Assemblyman Green explained. "RCAs were the wrong approach to fair housing and I will not support calls to bring them back. We can now be confident that these fair housing plans will lead quickly to the construction of new homes for families, seniors and people with disabilities. As the current housing process moves into the next phase, I look forward to working with advocates to increase state resources dedicated to revitalizing our communities and expanding opportunities for New Jersey families."