Tuesday, March 8, 2016
HOUSING BILL ADVANCED BY ASSEMBLY PANEL
*** Rebuilding NJ’s Middle-Class ***
Green and Prieto Bill to Improve Housing for Another 1,000 New Jersey Low-Income Households Advanced by Assembly Panel
The bill (A-1000) is part of the Assembly’s efforts to combat poverty and rebuild New Jersey’s middle-class.
Under the measure, $10.5 million would be added to the State Rental Assistance Program. The $10.5 million represents funding for 1,000 additional housing vouchers through the program this fiscal year.
“With housing so expensive in New Jersey, we clearly need to do more to help families struggling to make ends meet and find decent, affordable housing,” said Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset), who chairs the Assembly housing panel that recently heard testimony on ways to combat poverty in the state. “We know it’s makes fiscal sense to help those in need find homes they can afford than it is to provide costly services. This is the right thing in every way.”
“Families living in homes they can afford have better health and their children do better in school,” said Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen). “If we invest in our communities, we can save money and improve the quality of life for all of our residents. Accepting the status quo is unacceptable. We need to do more and this is a fiscally responsible approach.”
The program – already funded at $18.5 million for this fiscal year – offers tenant-based rental assistance grants and project-based rental assistance.
Tenant-based rental assistance grants are awarded through a lottery-type process open only to applicants on the Department of Community Affairs’ existing Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program waiting list
Project-based rental assistance allocates payments to new or rehabilitated housing units for 15 years, and paid when qualified tenants occupy those units. Program regulations reserve 35 percent of such rental assistance to those on the SRAP waiting list.
The bill was advanced by the Assembly Appropriations Committee.