Green Bill to Authorize HMFA to Buy Foreclosed Properties, Turn Them into Affordable Housing Gets Final Legislative OK
Measure comes amid growing concerns about the high rate of foreclosures in New Jersey despite millions in unspent federal foreclosure aid by the administration
(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D- Middlesex/Somerset/Union) to create a temporary program that would allow the state to purchase foreclosed properties for use as affordable housing, while protecting municipalities from having to forfeit funds appropriated for affordable housing received final legislative approval Monday and now heads to the governor’s desk.
“Housing in New Jersey is expensive. New Jersey consistently ranks as one of the most expensive states to live in. Not surprisingly, we also have some of the highest foreclosure rates in the country. With little regard from the administration, it will not get any better,” said Green, who chairs the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee. “We have a responsibility to ensure there are sufficient affordable housing options for our residents. Foreclosures bring down property values and are magnets for criminal activity. This bill attempts to kill two birds with one stone by taking these properties which can become real nuisances and transforming them into affordable housing.”
The bill, named the “New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act”, would create the temporary New Jersey Foreclosure Transformation Program within the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) to buy foreclosed residential properties from institutional lenders for use as affordable housing. The HMFA would be required to cease the program on Dec. 31, 2017.