Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Raj Mukherji and Cleopatra G. Tucker that would give New Jersey veterans affordable housing assistance preference was released Monday by an Assembly committee.
The bill (A-2088) would ensure that New Jersey veterans and surviving spouses receive priority status for affordable public housing. Specifically, the bill would require the Division of Housing and Community Resources in the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA), in consultation with the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, to provide preferential status to veterans who quality for public housing assistance.
“To fight so hard for the country you love only to come home and find that you no longer have a place in it is simply beyond the pale,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson), who served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve following the 9/11 attacks. “If this legislation helps keep a roof over the head of even one vet, then it’s well worth doing.”
“We do not ignore the sacrifices that our fighting men and women make on the front lines for our freedoms,” said Tucker (D-Essex). “We should not find ourselves ignoring them when they return home. Our returning veterans deserve affordable housing, and hopefully this will go a long way toward addressing that fact.”
Under the bill, public housing is considered to be any housing project in the state financed by the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, public housing authorities, redevelopment agencies and the DCA, when it is acting as a public housing authority.
The bill was advanced by the Assembly Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee, of which Tucker is chair.