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Speaker Oliver: Affordable Rental Housing Shortage in NJ Demands Solution from Administration

(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic) released the following statement on Monday following the release of a report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition detailing the lack of affordable rental housing in New Jersey:

“The findings of the Housing and Community Development of NJ and Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton may be a surprise to the Christie administration, but not to the families who struggle to afford decent housing in the state, and not to the legislators who have tried to address this inadequacy through a variety of legislative proposals, only to have them rejected by the governor.

“The governor has had plenty of opportunities to support legislation to help address this shortage. Instead, he slashed the Earned Income Tax Credit, rejected the bill to raise the minimum wage and conditionally vetoed another that would have addressed the need for more affordable housing and our staggering foreclosure rate by turning foreclosed properties into affordable housing.

“According to this report, an individual earning the mean wage for a New Jersey renter would need to work 59 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent value. An individual earning minimum wage would have to work 137 hours a week. How is this fair?

“The governor can continue to paint a rosy picture about our state of affairs to try to deflect the severity of the situation, but the reality is stark for many families. Being able to afford a decent place to live for you and your family is not a matter of entitlement; it is a matter of necessity.”