TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Ronald L. Rice and Shirley K. Turner which would provide an additional $15 million for the State’s low-income rental assistance program was approved in the Assembly Appropriations Committee today.
“Everyone wants a safe place to live, and New Jersey residents are no different,” said Senator Rice, D-Essex. “It’s the job of the Legislature to figure out ways to make that dream a reality. There are approximately 100,000 New Jersey residents on the (federal) Section 8 waiting list in the State. The rental assistance program will help grant the wish of about 2,000 families who are desperate to get decent housing.”
An initial bill sponsored by Senator Turner provided $10 million to create a State rental assistance program for low-income residents that is similar to the federal Section 8 program. Thaw piece of legislation became law in June of last year.
The bill, S-2067, would call for an additional $15 million this year for the rental assistance program. The bill would also be amended to require non-senior or non-disabled recipients of the grants to take advantage of workforce training that is offered by a local One-Stop Career Counseling Center.
“The thousands of New Jerseyans on the waiting list for Federal Section 8 grants see this $15 million as a way for them to finally find an affordable apartment for their family,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “They see it as a way to stay off the streets without having to work three jobs. They see it as a way to stop having to choose between buying food and paying the rent. They see it as a way to give their kids a good, stable home so that they can go to school and learn.”
The bill now heads to the full Assembly before going to the Governor’s office for enactment.