Gov. Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and Congressman Andy Kim highlighted the governor’s proposed $335 million Affordable Housing Production Fund (AHPF) at the Moorestown Mall on April 11.
According to an official notice, the proposed fund will invest $305 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding to create more than 3,300 new affordable-housing units in 43 statewide developments.
The AHPF was unveiled as part of the governor’s fiscal-year 2023 budget proposal, and in addition to the $305 million in federal funds, it will receive $30 million from the state’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Moorestown was selected for the officials’ appearance because it currently has two affordable-housing projects in the works that could be financed with the AHPF.
“It’s been a long road, but towns across the state are stepping up and doing their part to meet this obligation,” Murphy said.
The AHPF allows for the completion of affordable-housing projects identified in municipal housing settlements that have yet to be built, and will eliminate the state’s backlog of such projects.
“The funds needed to support the creation of new, affordable-housing units haven’t been available to realize the goals and needs of developers, local officials or the prospective residents, most importantly, who would benefit most from the creation of new housing,” Murphy explained.
“This funding gap has led to a current backlog of 43 new, 100-percent affordable-housing developments in 34 communities across 14 counties,” he added, “all projects that are already approved, but still (have) yet to be built, accounting for over 3,300 new affordable units.”
Murphy also noted that the AHPF will help the creation of approximately 1,700 new homes for families, more than 1,100 homes for senior citizens and nearly 550 new dwellings for people who need greater community support. They include those with developmental or physical disabilities and survivors of domestic abuse, among others.
“These homes are waiting impatiently in the wings,” the governor said. “The budget I proposed aims to eliminate, in its entirety, this backlog and get every single one of these units, at the least, built within the next four years.”
“This backlog does not represent our entire need or obligation, but clearing it is a huge and critical step in the right direction.”
Murphy also explained how the AHPF would benefit communities across the state.
“ … It would allow us to free up other existing state funds to do even more,” he said. “We could devote resources to more low-income and special-needs housing.”
Oliver and Kim praised the AHPF for its help to families and residents.
“ … What will be here, because of this announcement that we’re making today, I could not be more excited (for),” Oliver said. “Between fully funding the Affordable Housing Trust Fund for the first time in over a decade, to the unprecedented, proposed investment in creating more affordable-housing opportunities for New Jerseyans.”
“What we’re trying to do is push forward and realize that we have an opportunity here to not just recover, not just rebuild, but to be able to push ourselves forward with a new vision for what this community is going to look like,” Kim said.