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New Asbury Park affordable housing policies protect residents against gentrification | Simmons

Felicia Simmons | May 24, 2020 | Asbury Park Press |


Asbury Park has finally taken the first step toward ensuring that one of New Jersey’s most vibrant communities can retain its diversity and be affordable for everyone.

The city recently approved a package of ordinances that together, and if enforced, should create one of the strongest affordable housing frameworks of any urban area in the state.

Before the City Council took this step, Asbury Park was threatening to become an exclusive city with millionaire condos whose owners enjoy extended tax abatements where longtime residents of color could no longer afford to live.

Now, going forward, at least 20 percent of new homes created in most parts of Asbury Park must be affordable to working families.

While the legislation included carveouts for new housing construction along the beach and in the central business district, these new requirements will help restrain the rampant gentrification that has begun pricing out many longtime residents.

As a lifelong Asbury Park resident, I’ve seen many of my friends and high school classmates forced out of the homes and neighborhoods they have lived in for generations.


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