(TRENTON) - An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton (D-Burlington), Jerry Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union), Raj Mukherji (D-Hudson) and Pamela Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington) to help create more affordable housing.
The poor and middle class in particular have seen their incomes fall between 1990 and 2014. New Jersey is among the states where inequality has grown the most. This growing income disparity, combined with the effects of the Great Recession and the burst of the housing bubble in the last decade, have created systematic disincentives to financing low and very low income housing when the need for this type of housing is increasing. This bill hopes to address this imbalance.
"Affordable housing options in the state are limited and this proposal seeks to allow people to have a fair shot to live in a thriving community," said Singleton. "This can help incentivize developers to create housing to help accommodate some of our most vulnerable residents."
"Everyone deserves a decent place to live regardless of their income," said Green. "This can help meet the increasing demand for affordable housing which is unfortunately scarce in our state."
"It is no secret that housing in New Jersey is expensive," said Mukherji. "These tax credits will help expand the options for affordable places to live for families with considerable financial hardships, while also creating jobs and helping families find pathways to self-sufficiency."
"The demand for more affordable housing is not being met and families are suffering for it," said Lampitt. "This incentive can help us bridge that gap and get much needed housing built."
The bill (A-3551) would provide up to $600 million in tax credits available to developers to construct certain affordable housing projects. In order to qualify for the tax credit, a developer must construct a residential project in which at least 50 percent of the residential units are constructed and reserved for very low-, low-, and moderate-income housing. Out of those units, 13 percent must be reserved for very low-income housing. Developers would apply for the tax credits in the same manner they apply for grants under the State Economic Redevelopment and Growth Grant program.
Very low-income housing means housing reserved for occupancy by, households with a gross household income equal to 30 percent or less of the median gross household income for households of the same size within the housing region in which the qualified residential project is located.
The bill was approved by the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee.