Turner: We Must Work Hard To Avoid Falling Behind New Jersey’s Affordable Housing Needs

TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner, the Senate’s leading advocate for expanding affordable housing available to low-income families, said today that “The State must continue its work to provide low-cost housing opportunities to our most vulnerable residents.”

“Governor Corzine ran on the promise of expanding the number of affordable housing units in New Jersey and I am glad to say that he is sticking by that commitment,” said Senator Turner, D-Mercer. “A clean, safe home is a basic need that far too many New Jersey families go without every day and we’re working to bridge that gap.”

Senator Turner today brought up several issues facing New Jersey families seeking affordable housing during the afternoon’s Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee hearing with the Department of Community Affairs.

“The challenges our state’s low-income residents face each and every day can be overwhelming. From predatory lenders to a lack of affordable homes to long wait lists for assistance programs, it can make some feel like there is no hope in finding a home. We must work to restore that hope,” added Senator Turner.

Senator Turner welcomed reports by DCA Commissioner Susan Bass Levin of a program in the Housing Mortgage Finance Authority (HMFA) to help victims of subprime mortgage schemes refinance those loans so that they may avoid foreclosure and keep their homes.

“Home ownership is the key to entering the middle class,” said Senator Turner. “The predatory practices of many subprime lenders gave false hope to thousands of working-class families, only to boost mortgage payments months later to unaffordable amounts. I am pleased that the State is stepping in to provide relief to these homeowners.”