TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner requiring housing authorities to advertise online when applications are being accepted for housing assistance waiting list cleared the full Senate today.
The bill, S-1634, requires a housing authority to advertise on its Internet website or webpage, in both English and Spanish, notice of when it will accept applications for its housing assistance waiting list. The electronic notice is in addition to any notice that the authority currently publishes in a newspaper.
“Online advertising will provide more people with access to information on opportunities to apply for subsidized housing,” said Senator Turner (Hunterdon/Mercer). “When state and local housing agencies advertise only in newspapers, too many residents in need of affordable housing miss out on an opportunity to apply. Information on government programs, especially those concerning affordable housing, should be readily accessible. It also enables advocates to help notify clients in need to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to apply for affordable housing opportunities.”
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the demand for housing assistance exceeds the limited resources available. State and local housing authorities keep very long waiting lists and infrequently accept applications to add more individuals and families to the lists. When a waiting list is open to accept new applicants, they typically accept a set number of applications on a first come-first serve basis; however, a more recent technique used is to select applicants based on a lottery system.
S-1634 cleared the full Senate 38-0 and will now head to the Assembly for further consideration