WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.) announced a total $12,237,784 for the state of New Jersey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the nation’s Housing Trust Fund (HTF), an affordable housing production program that complements existing federal, state, and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of high-quality, safe affordable housing for low-income households, including families experiencing homelessness.
“Investments made to find solutions to the nation’s housing issue, particularly in New Jersey, are investments into families, individuals, and communities,” Menendez said. “Creating more affordable housing for New Jersey families has long been a top focus on mine and this infusion of federal funds could not come at a more vital time when rents continue to skyrocket and many families are facing housing insecurity.”
“Access to safe and affordable housing is a fundamental human right,” Booker said. “I’m proud that New Jersey has received over $12 million in federal investment to help support our state’s efforts to address housing insecurity. These funds will provide much-needed assistance to our most vulnerable communities and ensure that every New Jerseyan has a place to call home.”
“We’re proud to invest in states to create more affordable housing,” said HUD Secretary Marica L. Fudge. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to improving the nation’s housing affordability crisis and the Housing Trust Fund provides communities resources they need to produce more safe, sustainable and affordable housing.”
HUD through HTF, allocated a total of $382 million to the entire nation in a formula-based program for States and U.S. Territories, and by law, each state is allocated a minimum $3 million. The Housing Trust Fund is being capitalized through contributions made by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In December 2014, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) directed these Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) to begin setting aside and allocating funds to the Housing Trust Fund. The Housing Trust Fund helps to strengthen and broaden the Federal housing safety net for people in need by increasing production of, and access to, affordable housing for the nation’s most vulnerable populations. One hundred percent of funds must be used for extremely low-income families, and this targeting ensures the priority of this program is helping those with urgent needs.
Sen. Menendez has long been a leader in the fight to build more affordable housing. In March, Sen. Menendez joined a group of 17 Senate Committee Chairs and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in sending a letter to President Biden urging the federal government to utilize a “whole-of-government” approach to address the nation’s housing crisis. In January 2022, Sen. Menendez announced $1,429,328 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Counseling Program to seven local agencies throughout New Jersey to provide funds to HUD approved housing counseling agencies to advise and assist people with buying or renting a home, defaults, foreclosure, and other financial challenges.
In February, Sens. Menendez and Booker announced a combined total of $93,830,496 from HUDto modernize public housing properties and for management improvements across 54 towns in the state of New Jersey in Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Union, Salem, Somerset, Sussex and Warren Counties.
In August 2021, he introduced the Livable Communities Act that encourages local communities to partner strategically to develop bold, innovative solutions that reflect their unique character, while leveraging existing assets, including access to transit to help revitalize neighborhoods, spur economic development, create jobs, and address their affordable housing needs. That same month, the Senator also introduced the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative Act of 2021, which supports locally driven strategies to revitalize underserved neighborhoods by making permanent the highly competitive Choice Neighborhoods grant program at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).