Monday, December 8, 2014


Trenton--As Chairman of the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee, I spend a lot of time working with communities and experts across the State to improve the quality, affordability and variety of housing stock in all corners of New Jersey.  Blighted buildings are a significant problem for our communities. Since the economic recession in 2008, urban and suburban towns alike have seen a dramatic increase in abandoned buildings. Last Thursday, I held a hearing in the Assembly Housing and Community Development committee in order to gather testimony from members of the community who are working toward turning blighted buildings into revitalized spaces.

Blight is a complex problem, and complex problems require thoughtful discussion in order to generate creative solutions. My goal in holding this hearing was to look at the big picture by listening carefully to leaders who approach blight from diverse perspectives. The leaders who offered testimony to the Committee represent a wide range of organizations that are poised to work together toward comprehensive solutions. They included urban redevelopment professionals who develop strategy, builders who turn that strategy into action, bankers who fund redevelopment projects and the community advocates who fight to make sure that the housing that we build is safe and affordable, and that we make sure to address the needs of communities who politicians too often ignore.

Along with the members of the Housing and Community Development Committee, both Democrat and Republican, I will continue to do everything that the Legislature possibility can to put the best tools in place to encourage community revitalization.  My hope is that Governor Christie’s office will be willing to work with us to deliver results to New Jersey’s Citizens.

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