TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner requiring housing authorities to advertise online when applications are being accepted for their housing assistance waiting list, cleared the Assembly today and heads to the governor’s desk.
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.
“Information on government programs, especially those concerning affordable housing, should be readily accessible. By posting this information online, these programs can ensure that everyone has an opportunity to apply for affordable housing opportunities,” said Senator Turner (Hunterdon/Mercer). “Online advertising will provide more people with access to information on opportunities to apply for subsidized housing. When state and local housing agencies advertise only in the newspaper, too many residents in need of affordable housing miss out on the opportunity to apply.”
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 Assembly 73-0 and cleared the full Senate 38-0 last year. The bill will now head to the governor’s desk.