By: Helena Perray, Follow South Jersey Community Resources Intern
TRENTON, N.J. — On Tuesday, Governor Phil Murphy and Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver highlighted the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget’s commitment of more than $200 million to various housing affordability investments within New Jersey.
“While we continue our state’s recovery from COVID-19, we must also invest in housing stability and affordability for the longer term across New Jersey,” Gov. Murphy said in a release. “I am proud that this budget enables us to advance a broad housing affordability strategy. By making these investments, we can ensure greater housing security for New Jersey’s low-income families, help many first-generation homeowners begin to build wealth through homeownership, and greatly expand our stock of affordable homes.”
With a total of $200 million in state funding and $2 billion in federal funding, the state plans to invest in housing recovery through the implementation of a comprehensive housing affordability strategy.
According to a press release, the state funds will be invested into a variety of projects, including the construction of new and affordable housing along with mortgage and down-payment assistance for both, families and essential workers in need. The $200 million will also go toward furthering state efforts to end homelessness as well as shortening the approval time for low-cost housing.
The $2 billion in federal funding provided to New Jersey will aid in the repayment of utility arrearages, arranging payment plans to avoid foreclosures for homeowners, rental payment support, and continued efforts to lessen the homeless population statewide.
“New Jersey has dealt with a formidable housing crisis for many years before the pandemic. As we move away from renter and homeowner protections enacted during Covid-19, we will see more residents struggle with housing in the next year,” Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee, said in a release. “This budget’s investment into housing affordability, lead-free homes, homelessness as well as foreclosure mediation programs is a well-rounded approach to ensuring residents have the support needed to keep their home or to acquire one.”
The state’s multi-billion dollar plan will work to create equal housing opportunities for all state residents, as well as providing housing security to families that have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan will result in the allocation of state funds into 13 different affordable housing investments. A few particular investments are a $60 million commitment to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund production, $43.5 million toward the State Rental Assistance Program, and $20 million toward down payment assistance.
“Quality, stable housing that people can actually afford has the incredible ability to transform lives and communities,” Lt. Governor Oliver, who serves as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, said in a release. “The State’s unprecedented multi-billion-dollar investment in housing will not only address the tremendous impact that COVID-19 has had on our renters and homeowners in New Jersey, but will also expand our existing housing programs and create new ones. This is such an exciting and fulfilling time to be involved in housing because we are seizing an opportunity with vision and purpose to help thousands of families find a place they can call home.”
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This article was produced by a Follow South Jersey news intern thanks to a grant provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through the New Jersey Health Initiatives program to create hyper-local news to meet the informational and health needs of the City of Bridgeton, N.J.