Author Topic: Affordable Housing funds  (Read 3213 times)

Offline just watching

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Affordable Housing funds
« on: May 02, 2013, 07:06:46 AM »
I see there was an article about Gov. Christie getting the OK to seize unused affordable housing funds held by municipalities. I was wondering if Hackensack lost any money ?  I was hoping that the city would use affordable housing funds to renovate some tired old apartment buildings, not necessarily new construction.

http://www.northjersey.com/news/Christie_gets_OK_to_seize_140M_that_NJ_towns_set_aside_for_affordable_housing_projects.html



Offline just watching

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Re: Affordable Housing funds
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2013, 07:30:54 AM »
Christie's move to take $166 million from various cities and towns was blocked by an Appellate Court judge.  That's the last I read.

I would still like to know how much Hackensack is sitting on, how much is in the pot.  There are some older apartment buildings in the city that could be renovated.  It would be a good use of such funds.  These buildings already house people of low income, low socioeconomic status. Fixing up the building would improve the quality of life for the tenants. And if the units could be sold off as owner-occupied affordable housing, even better. Some of the tenants could buy and become owners, and for the rest of the units, other tenants living elsewhere in the city could be given first crack at the units.

In fact, if I were running for the City Council, I would run on a platform of selling off all the family units in the city's two public housing projects, both Newman St/Railroad Ave, and Central Ave.  These are all big units, I've been in a few over the years.  They would make excellent condominiums.  Hackensack has done its share over the last 60 years in providing rental housing that doesn't pay a dime in taxes. Now is the time to advocate home-ownership for low and mid-income people.

Offline itsmetoo

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Re: Affordable Housing funds
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2013, 05:52:42 PM »
What would you suggest for the rest of the tenants who are unable to purchase the units?  While they don't pay real estate taxes, they do pay federal taxes from their employment.  Those taxes fund HUD.

Offline just watching

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Re: Affordable Housing funds
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2013, 08:18:47 PM »
I personally don't need to suggest anything for the tenants who don't want to buy their units, or cannot afford to do so.

Apartment buildings are converted into affordable housing all around New Jersey, and this is considered to be progress by affordable housing advocates.  Some of the more conservative people are often opposed to the very concept of affordable housing.

My understanding is that the entity in charge of the renovations is required by the State of New Jersey to relocate tenants, and to pay for their relocation expenses.  This is what has been done in other cities.  This is not "my" suggestion, I am just answering your question as to what happens to the other tenants.

Offline Editor

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Re: Affordable Housing funds
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2014, 02:23:18 PM »
COAHs Attempt to Adopt New Rules for Affordable Housing Goes Nowhere Fast
Colleen O'Dea | October 21, 2014
Council deadlocks on vote despite state Supreme Court order that it must come to a decision today

The New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing's inability yesterday to adopt new rules governing the construction of units for low- and moderate-income people has left all sides involved scratching their heads and asking what's next.

COAH was expected to give final approval to controversial regulations -- now 15 years overdue. The council is under a state Supreme Court order to adopt by tomorrow rules governing where and how much affordable housing municipalities need to build to fulfill their obligations to provide a fair share for the low- and moderate-income families and individuals under the court's Mount Laurel decisions.

Housing advocates have been arguing that the rules, proposed last April, are deeply flawed. They call for the construction of about 53,000 new units statewide -- more than half of which should have been built as long ago as 1987 -- and the refurbishment of some 63,000 existing units.

Read more: http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/14/10/21/coah-s-attempt-to-adopt-new-rules-for-affordable-housing-goes-nowhere-fast/

Offline just watching

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Re: Affordable Housing funds
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2014, 09:37:42 PM »
Well, rents and houses for sale are both ridiculously overpriced in New Jersey, compared to similar housing in other states.  I can rent a whole house in Ohio or central Virginia for $800 a month, and that's a relatively new suburban house with 3 bedrooms.

Some sort of affordable housing is needed for New Jersey.  The one thing I do agree with the governor and foes of affordable housing is that THE BUILDER'S REMEDY has to go.  The idea of destroying zoning and open space for such housing is not acceptable.  I offer a few alternatives:

(1) A zoning solution.  Require that no municipality may reserve more than 75% of it's housing stock in the form of single-family houses and condominiums.  Areas reflecting 25% of each town will have to be rezoned to allow houses to be subdivided to create affordable units, or new construction including affordable units.  Every municipality should be required to have its zoning allow 10% of the housing stock to be multi-unit, in redevelopment areas or adjacent to local business districts.  So instead of builders deciding zoning changes by lawsuit, towns will have local control in deciding where the multi-unit can go

(2) encourage trailer parks and trailer homes, with reasonable criteria of trailer separation. No packing them like sardines in Moonachie.  And have them count as affordable housing.   State and federal land used for military purposes can be found for some of this.  I am sure, for instance, that places like Fort Dix and Piccatiny Arsenal can give up 100 acres for trailers, and there will be no impact at all to the facilities.

(3) encourage more rehab's of older apartment buildings in urban areas.  For Hackensack, I could see 275 Beech Street converted into affordable condominiums. That's a win-win for everyone. And it will encourage ownership.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 09:39:19 PM by just watching »


Offline ericmartindale

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Re: Affordable Housing funds
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2017, 12:56:37 PM »
This whole issue is completely different from what it was only a few years ago.  And nothing like it was 20 or 30 years ago.

Our whole region is in a catastrophic housing crisis. There is an extreme shortage of decent 3-bedroom apartments, so much so that the cost to rent them in places with no rent control has nearly doubled in the last 10 years.  Income has barely increased in the same time period. Who needs these apartments --- families with children. 

Even if minimum wage were increased to $15 an hour, that's still only about $30,000 a year.  You can't qualify to rent anything with that income. And some people want to keep minimum wage at $8-something. The whole situation is absurd.

There's just a total disconnect. You can survive on public assistance, and you can survive making $75,000 a year.  In the middle, you can't survive.

How is a family of 4 to survive making $45,000.  You can't. It's impossible. Just run a basic household budget, and you'll see that a family of four can't really survive making less than $60,000.  And that's if your situation is PERFECT.  If you have credit card debt, alimony or child support payments, medical debt, you are underwater.

Almost all of our public policy makers are older people who own homes and have good income.  They have no clue what's going on out there, how people are squeezed into oblivion. But when their son or granddaughter decides to move from NJ to flyover country, the realization starts to set in. There's just no future here. Our region is for the rich and it's for the poor. Anyone else is smart to get out.


Offline ericmartindale

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Re: Affordable Housing funds
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2017, 09:48:25 PM »
I published a comprehensive essay on the housing crisis for the February 3, 2017 blog post on the Newark Tenants United website.

http://www.newarktenantsunited.org/index.html