Thursday, August 10, 2006

State to build 100,000 affordable units

From the NY Times:

100,000 Units of Housing Are Planned in New Jersey

Acknowledging that housing in New Jersey is becoming increasingly unaffordable, the Corzine administration says in a report to be made public on Thursday that it plans to build 100,000 homes and apartments over the next 10 years for poor, working-class and middle-class residents.

In the state’s first attempt at outlining a comprehensive housing strategy, the 44-page report evaluates the shortcomings of current housing programs and sets the stage for Gov. Jon S. Corzine to announce the details of a comprehensive housing program — with specific recommendations and price tags — by the end of the year.
Mr. Corzine has frequently said he admires the governing approach of Mr. Bloomberg, and like him says he intends to emphasize the shortage of housing not just for the poorest residents, as housing advocacy groups have historically emphasized, but also for working-class and middle-class people.

And Ms. Levin said, “We need to provide a full range of housing.”
In particular, the report says that the costs to create housing, like land, construction and labor, are increasing far more quickly than expected, at a time when federal financing for housing has been stagnant or decreasing. And given the fact that housing and land are so expensive, “New Jersey has consistently ranked as one of the least affordable states for rental housing.”

Yet New Jersey does not have an effective program to encourage home ownership among moderate-income residents, the report concludes.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where will these 100,000 be built?

8/10/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger thatbigwindow said...

I suspect on mercury contaminated waste sites

8/10/2006 07:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

once again, my tax dollars are supporting who? while i slave myself and still live a rental?


8/10/2006 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger BergenBuyer said...

just keep on adding supply, high cost, low cost, no cost, it's still more homes and that will help to drive prices down.

8/10/2006 07:37:00 AM  
Blogger RentinginNJ said...

I always cringe when I see government getting involved in something like this. It always seems to turn into taxpayer financed overly expensive and marginally effective fiasco; filled with concessions to special interests and sweetheart contracts for the right people.

My recommendation on how government can help:
- remove barriers to development
- incentivize developers to build something other than condos and McMansions
- stay out of the way and let the market do its job (more supply will put downward pressure on prices)
- Focus on property taxes
- stay out of the way (worthy of a second mention)

8/10/2006 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, ok... they couldn't handle building schools; so now it's ok to build residential real estate? all i can say is... wow...

8/10/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a meltdown going on in

The state has been given away

8/10/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the one hand they claim they wantto reduce property taxes.

On the other hand Corzine shows
his true colors. He can't help
himself. He's a socalist.

More gov. ,lets add another dept.
to handle this , = higher taxes.

Paid for by the NJ homeowner.

8/10/2006 08:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



8/10/2006 08:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Affordable meaning what exactly??' To most of these politicians - Affordable is for a household making an income between $75,000 - $150,000 or a single person making $100,0000..

It is joke. Nothing is affordable in this region which is a haven & playground for the rich especially in the suburbs of NJ & Long Island.

Why don't they cut taxes for the middle class or eliminate the Personal Income Tax in NYC entirely??

8/10/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is the field I am in. Unless there is some big surprise change, there is no plan to build 100K affordable houses. There is a plan to plan to build and preserve 100K affordable houses.

The preserve obviously being the important difference.

Just as obviously I hope we can build a great deal of affordable housing. The simple fact is that the current market does not provide affordable housing because it doesn't make any sense for a developer to build it.
Why would a builder consider building a home for sale for less then the maximum price he can get?
And the fact of the matter is, just about anywhere you can build a house in NJ (other than the SW), you can build a house you can get $300K+ for. Land, labor, and materials costs practically dictate that sort of building.

Now, as just about everyone else here I expect home prices to fall, but does anyone really believe the market can provide enough housing for all of the people with incomes between $20-60K?

Monmouth County has about 650K residents and a median household income of about $85K. Right now there probably aren't 200 SFHs in the county listed at or below $270K. There are probably less than than 400 condo/townhouses at that price. Even a 25 percent drop in prices leaves a lot of people priced out of the market.

Even 1 br apts here rent out at $700+ per month. To be considered affordable housing (including taxes, utilities, and maintenance) is supposed to cost no more than 30 percent of income.

I often wonder how the people working at Target, WalMart, etc. can live around here.

I can go on and on about this issue but I'm going to leave it here for now.


8/10/2006 08:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the walmart, target folks, are living
with mommy and daddy, or 6 to a
room in some broken down house.

or they rent some dive.

its very sad. NJ gov . is just another example of the gov. trying
to run lives, but they can't.

8/10/2006 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger skep-tic said...

of course no private builder is going to build affordable housing, but does that mean it's the government's responsibility?

there's a difference between those who are truly unable to support themselves (teenage mothers, for example) and people who simply choose to live in a area that is beyond their means.

why should we subsidize this latter group? it drives up the cost of housing for everyone except for the chosen few who are lucky/connected enough to get into the program.

8/10/2006 08:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they will build these dwellings
for the unwed mothers with 3 kids
with 3 different men.

the crack addicts, and the mental
cases who get over on the system.

I'm sick of it.

and don't forget the illegals.

oh, by the way they all will get
the s8 payments to go with it.

8/10/2006 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


For the record, the state's first attempt at creating affordable housing was pretty much a disaster that lasted about 20 years.

A few people, mostly senior citizens, got some affordable housing

Here's how it "worked."

Towns were all assigned a certain number of affordable housing units to build. They were left to their own devices to come up with a way to reach that number. Anyone who didn't come up with a plan, i.e. zoning for it, was left open to lawsuits from builders.

Now obviously lots of towns didn't make any sort of plan or they made half-assed ones.

The state termed its enforcement procedure for getting town's to create affordable housing "builder's remedy," which basically would allow a builder to increase the density of any given project by an astronomical number.

What it was in actuality was the "cover for payoffs program."

I will try and be very brief in explaining it. I think an example will work best.

A developer buys a 40-acre parcel with 1-acre zoning (quite common in Monmouth County), after all was said and done he might be able to build 35 houses.

Unless he says he wants to build affordable housing. He then puts forward a plan to build 300 townhouse/condos with 75 affordable housing units and applies to the state (COAH) to get it done.
People scream (traffic, out of character, quality of life, blah, blah blah).

The town's politicians make lots of noise, about fighting, but they don't have any other plan. They have a dog-and pony show for a while in the courts.

The town "settles" out of court with the developer. He gets to build 125 SFHs on 1/4-acre lots with no affordable units. Lawyers get paid, politicians somehow can afford nice vacations, traffic gets worse and another developer threatens to build affordable housing...


8/10/2006 08:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read it and weep DENYING GRUBBERS!

8/10/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger JMW977 said...

once again, my tax dollars are supporting who? while i slave myself and still live a rental?


Who knows? Maybe YOU'LL actually be the beneficiary of one of these affordable properties!

8/10/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You've put the big question on the table.

"does that mean it's the government's responsibility?"

In this case we're talking housing, but this has broad applications. You need to think about the nature of government.

I'm going to leave a lot out, but here goes:

Elected officials want to be reelected. They've decided the best way to do that is to respond to people (constituents) who complain. Sadly, it doesn't matter if what they want is any good or even necessary. It doesn't even matter if it's a good response, just so long as it shuts them up. When someone else complains from the other side, someone who wants to get elected who either holds or adopts that position will oppose the guy in office and we're off to the races. Multiply by about 1,000.

I'm not saying it's right, or that I like it, that's just how it seems to be.


8/10/2006 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger Metroplexual said...


You got it mostly right, however, the town that has this done to them essentially does it to themselves by not having an approved affordable housing plan.

The old assignments were arbitrary in the first and second round. The third round at least assigns responsibility to a municipality based on growth of a municipality in housing units or jobs which is more fair IMO.

As for the idea of affordable housing, it is laudable, but heavy handed gov't is not the way to do it normally. In a rational free market demand would normally create supply, but localities create artificial shortages through downzoning. So local govt is to blame for high housing costs.

How do you remedy it? Eliminate local school districts and finance schools at the state level like many states do in the US. Then municipalities would stop vasectomy zoning and probably buy into smartgrowth.

8/10/2006 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


How do you decide what to post and elaborate on? This is beginning to unravel quickly for a market as big as US housing. The part that somewhat worries me, for the economy overall, is that next year will probably be much worse.

8/10/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you purchase a home or business in NJ [Especially one designated an "affordable" unit], be sure to obtain every test you can on soil, paint, etc. Do not scrimp - go beyond what is required. Especially if you have little ones.
There's just too much history and corruption in this state.

"Day-care founder was told site wasn’t a problem"

She said the site’s owner had mentioned "medical supplies," not mercury. The landlord has been unavailable for comment...

This is a sin," said Stella Cavicchia, whose 4-year-old daughter, Brianna, had attended Kiddie Kollege since she was 2. She and her husband, John, who live in Pittsgrove, Salem County, were visibly shaken.

Looking back, Brianna may have had some symptoms of mercury poisoning all along, John Cavicchia said, adding, "Now it makes sense."...

Yesterday, finger-pointing and recriminations continued to fly.

A former DEP official said the state agency should have cleaned up the property after the thermometer manufacturer, Accutherm Inc., went bankrupt in 1994. The agency also should have erected a fence and posted warning signs, said Bill Wolfe, now president of a watchdog group called Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Instead, the DEP tried in vain to get the bankrupt company and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean the site. Finally, years after children had been playing amid mercury vapors 27 times higher than the acceptable limit, DEP officials saw the day-care center and began asking Sullivan questions about the mercury."

Do not trust local "high paid" or state officials to protect you or your kids.

IMNSHO any state or local employee/ official with responsibility for this site should be fired immediately, with revocation of pension. OFF THE STATE PAYROLL. No more incompetence.


8/10/2006 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger quints said...

Agree with Skep-tic and others. This is not a government function. Period.

8/10/2006 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phila Inquirer offers to pay for lie detector test to find how who knew these little kids were getting poisoned.

"Mayor Dave Ferrucci swears that never happened. He's so sure, he has offered to put his staff up against the DEP's in a lie-detector test.

The liars lose their jobs.

This I'd pay to see. The Inquirer will sponsor tests for everybody who wants one. We're serious. Are you? Call me."

Monica Yant Kinney
Inquirer Columnist
Contact Monica Yant Kinney at 856-779-3914 or


8/10/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Blogger lindsey said...

To Anon 8:58:05

Re: NJ is a welfare state.

That is true if by welfare state you mean a state that pays for things in the rest of the country.

Here, not so much.

This info is from the Tax Foundation, an antitax group based in DC. (

"Estimated at 10.8% of income, New Jersey’s state/local tax burden percentage ranks 17th highest nationally, above the national average of 10.6%."

Check that out, state/local tax burden a whopping .2 percent (20 basis points) above the national average.

Ah, but there is this:

"New Jersey taxpayers receive less federal funding per dollar of federal taxes paid than any other state. Per dollar of federal tax paid in 2004, New Jersey citizens received approximately $0.55 in the way of federal spending."

It seems the rugged individualists in places like Wyoming, South Carolina and Utah are pulling themselves up by our bootstraps./

8/10/2006 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger delford said...

The 100,00 will be built in River Edge. Everybody wants to live there, and its bubble proof.

8/10/2006 12:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To anon 9:52,

I am resonding late in the game but having 2 "mental cases" in my family who would be thrilled to get a job have been trying for 10 years (my parents owned a business and they used to work for them but my parents had to sell) they are both 40+ (one just got a job sweeping floors in the local deli)the goverment housing (3 to one bedroom)is all they have to call home and if they were to leave that there would be no funding for thier medication that runs about $1000 a month to keep them in the real world. Either that or they would be homeless and probably hurt someone. (My one brother went off his meds for a week and took a knife to me)They do not abuse the system. Be thankful your family is healthy.

8/10/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger X-Underwriter said...

N.J. has highest property taxes in U.S.

8/10/2006 01:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:30:
Mental illness is not a crime nor is it laughable.

Many folks in NJ are hardened toward ANY welfare and social services because examples of system abuse are so frustrating and common here. Just think, a NJ taxpayer funds welfare checks for single mothers, then pays NJ social workers to monitor those children, then pays again when the kids are found starved.

I AM saddened by the abysmal treatment (closing of care facilities, reductions in Medicaid, etc.) received by truly needy people, some of whom have no relatives to care for them. I am not a bleeding-heart liberal, but do believe a society is responsible for caring for itself to the weakest member, and must be able to do it well, or perish.

Best of luck to you and your relatives.

8/10/2006 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i see the libs are out with all
the double talk.

nj is a welfare state. period.

give a way have bk the state.

8/10/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger Math, like gravity, is law. said...

Anonymous said...
Well here you have it again.


They still don't get it in

The taxpayer of NJ is being sold
down the river by the pols.

This is nothing more than another
give away program for the hispanics,blacks, and others who are lazy and want to depend on the
gov. for handouts.

get in line.

8/10/2006 08:58:05 AM

Dear Angry White Male: Politricks homey, the tone of your post is racist, can't help you with that mindset, but this I can tell you, I am the guy who has previosly posted as anon; homeless, got it together, top of the world to on welfare with a preganant wife to owning multiple property's paying cash for house etc. and this I KNOW from first hand experience...the people truly in need don't get sh..! Focus your anger on the Politricksters and their backers...for NJ, Socialists pretendig to be Dem's. Sincerely, Happy "Gun Nut" White Male

8/10/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Math, like gravity, is law. said...

2 biggest Jon Corzine, Loretta Weinberg.

8/10/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here it comes racist.

another lib. cant help themselves.

8/10/2006 04:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never said property taxes weren't high. I'm not delusional. I wrote about the total tax burden in comparison to other states.

I'm sorry that the "welfare state" scenario doesn't fit reality, but that's the only info I can find. If you've got something else, let me know.

If I'm getting screwed, I want to know. If I'm not, I don't want to pretend I am.


8/10/2006 04:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

K Hovnanian is building townhouses in Montvale. Prices start from 528K and go up to 700k. I got a copy of the brochure for the proposed models. Interestingly enough there are some set aside units (about 20%) for Low Income. They do not provide any information about these units (layout plans, etc) nor it is clear how to apply for these low income housing units.

Does anyone know about this project? It is called the Valley View at Montvale?

8/10/2006 05:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

another overpriced khov project.
check the taxes, in some instance
its more than a house.

and check how much a month for the

8/10/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well here you have it again.


They still don't get it in

The taxpayer of NJ is being sold
down the river by the pols.

This is nothing more than another
give away program for the hispanics,blacks, and others who are lazy and want to depend on the
gov. for handouts.

get in line.

8/10/2006 08:58:05 AM

TO ANON @ 8:58 AM
Well, well WELL!! It sounds like someone is very angry! You are really a *azzwhole* for making generalized, uneducated statments such as "give away programs for the hispanics, blacks and everyone else THAT YOU FEEL ARE LAZY!!! Who are you to judge??? Not everyone who are Hispanic, Black, etc. are getting freebies!! What bubble are you living in??? Hispanics and Blacks work just as hard to support their families just like any other ethnic group!, You are sooooo ignorant and very unhappy little one. It's a shame that you didn' receive any attention while you were a kid, it's no wondering why you are hiding behind the "Anonymous" name. You know it's funny how you are posting at 9:00 in the am, shouldn't you be somewher working instead of posting hateful, racist messages on the board or jut maybe are you the one who is receiving your share of the government freebies?? Well it's nice to know that my tax dollars are helping out the underprivileged as such as yourself DUMB AZZ!!!


8/10/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny to see the old trick argument "NJ (or NY, or NYC, or CT, etc.) gets back less in federal tax dollars than paid" come up. This con was invented by the late Sen. Moynihan, a very bright man who probably knew better. Want to equalize tax collections with Utah, SC, and WY?
Impose a flat tax, cut NJ's per cap income by about 40 per cent, and build a bunch of new military bases and highways here. None of the foregoing would be acceptable to the majority of NJ voters. Also, count the fed $ that get funnelled through state & regional nongovernmental agencies.

8/10/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"New Jersey taxpayers receive less federal funding per dollar of federal taxes paid than any other state.

It is because NJ has a lot of high-income taxpayers in the highest federal tax brackets. Are you proposing flat tax? That would solve the problem.

Actually, that sounds a great idea.

8/10/2006 11:26:00 PM  
Anonymous UnRealtor said...

I really don't know how politicians got away with anything but a flat tax long ago.

Imagine going into a store to buy some milk. You go to pay for the milk, and before telling you the price, the cashier says "What is your annual income?" OK, $2 for you, and the guy in line behind you pays $3 for the same milk.

It's almost a form of discrimination.

A flat tax on $50K or $500K would be fair, everyone pays the same percentage of their income.

Get rid of all the tax loopholes, abolish the IRS, and have a one-page 1040 tax form with only 5 questions on it. Same form for everyone.

They should try it as a pilot program for a year somewhere, see how it goes.

8/10/2006 11:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is Section 8? Doesn't that help?

8/11/2006 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger chicagofinance said...

not funny or of any value

please go away

8/11/2006 11:59:00 AM  

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