The construction of affordable homes would boost the economy of New Jersey, according to a new report by Regional Plan Association. The whitepaper looks at the proposals in the Housing and Community Development Network’s “Build a Thriving New Jersey” campaign, which seeks to influence the next governor to dedicate more resources to housing construction.
Among the findings:
- The construction of new affordable homes has the potential to return nearly $500,000,000 of investment back to the state through job creation, tax revenue, and economic growth. This investment could fund community programs, improve municipal transit infrastructure, and increase life quality for all NJ residents.
- Increased availability of rental opportunities for diverse housing types would benefit a variety of household types. Single individuals, families, and the aging population would all benefit from more rental housing stock.
- State investment in the prevention of foreclosure and homelessness must be doubled from $49.3 million to $100 million a year in order to meet the need of residents. Today NJ’s rate of foreclosure is triple the national rate. These foreclosures can lead to homelessness and place pressures on an already difficult rental market.
- Neighborhood revitalization can be accomplished through corporate tax credits. The campaign urges the expansion of the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program. So far, $48 million has been invested back into housing and economic development. The program has proven to use every dollar of investment from the NRTC program to fund new jobs, new homes, rental units, as well as storefront revitalization and business recruitment into commercial districts. By expanding this program, more can be done for neighborhoods.
- The health of resident can be protected by improving existing and new homes. The campaign calls for funding to weatherize homes which would result in health benefits for 6,000 households and energy savings.
The two candidates for New Jersey Governor are Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy. On November 7th voters will choose and polls have shown that New Jersey’s economy and taxes are key issues for voters at the ballot box.
Guadagno pledges that, if elected, she would slash New Jersey’s property taxes by up to $3,000 a year for homeowners. The Lieutenant Governor also plans to grow jobs in New Jersey by cutting down the number of state regulations.
Murphy has outlined a plan to make homeownership in the state more affordable and accessible. He has pledged to end the practice of diverting affordable housing funding to other parts of the state budget, to expand counseling programs to keep people in their homes and repurposing foreclosed properties as affordable housing, to increase tax credits to create new housing, and to lower property taxes by incentivizing shared services and restoring rebates to low-income, seniors and disabled residents.
We urge both candidates to consider the “Build a Thriving New Jersey” recommendations as they race to the finish line of this election and as they begin to get into the even harder work of governing.
Photo: Jazz Guy/ Creative Commons