Low-Income Housing

Shore Communities and Low-Income Housing in New Jersey

 

CM-220 – Unit 8 Assignment

Shore Communities and Low-Income Housing in New Jersey

New Jersey is among the smaller of the fifty states, but well known throughout all of them. New Jersey is known so well because of its stretch of beautiful beach from one eastern end of the state to another. The beauty of the beaches in New Jersey attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each summer. The tourists come to enjoy the sand beneath their toes, the refreshing splash of the ocean water, the many different boardwalks, amusement attractions, and nightlife these shore towns offer. New Jersey beach tourism resulted in New Jersey becoming one of the only states across the Nation where beach entry is associated with a fee. For beach entry, you can either per day for short term visitors, or by season for regular visitors and city residents. This fee’s charged for beach entry resulting in monumental profit for the state with each summer season. What these tourists visiting the beautiful shores of New Jersey do not see is the poverty-stricken inner cities just blocks in from the eastern shoreline outlined in beauty. Year-round residents are struggling to make rent in run-down apartment dwellings, streets lined with gang-affiliated graffiti, and homeless men, women, and children sleeping under bridges and on park benches; panhandling to make enough money to eat. Shore towns, outlined in such beauty are making an enormous profit on something created by nature, but not using any of the benefits of giving back to the community residents. The state of New Jersey’s cost of living is one of the highest in the Nation. The Shore towns surrounding New Jersey’s coast reign in a great deal of profit in the summer months from the seasonal residents and tourists, but the year-round residents are struggling. In some cases, these residents cannot afford to pay their rent. Profits earned during the summer seasons need to go back into the community by way of low-income housing, enabling year-round residents a more affordable cost of living, profitability for the local Government, and giving the households more money.

Low-income housing is an option for house-made available by the city’s housing authority for families based on their annual gross income, age and or disability status within the state’s disability guidelines, and citizenship or immigration status with the country. As such, in the article, “Housing Discrimination,” low-income housing has been identified with a stigma to have been made available in primarily urban communities with a higher census of non-white residents. New laws are being implemented in The Fair Housing Act, speaking of how the Federal Government may be responsible for the racial segregation as it stands now. These new laws are referring to both urban and suburban America and are responsible for city officials straying away from modern construction of low-income housing. Urban Development has implemented a rule mandating community in need of low-income housing to bring more to the table to make the fair-housing policies more evenly distributed (Jost, 2015). The new guidelines lead with the hope of educating city officials on the segregation that has been the previous culture. The suburban communities are most identifiable as inland of the shore towns, while the urban communities are the shore towns “inner city.” The poor live where they can see outsiders enjoying the community they frequent, while they cannot, and the shore does not line the middle-class neighborhoods.

In an article written by CBSNY, a world-renowned media news station, Jessica Layton writes concerning a famous shore town, Asbury Park, NJ, a city only three miles from my own home. Asbury Park, a dynamic city, comprised of historical sites, miles and beautiful beaches, bars, clubs, and extravagant dining, all along with the cost. Just one block from all these great tourist attractions, unbearable homelessness, run-down housing projects, and streets riddled with gangs, violence, and murder; all relative to the poverty in this community and the lack of affordable housing for the city’s residents (Layton, 2019). The poverty within this community, along with all the other shore towns of New Jersey earning an unspeakable amount of money during the summer months, with nothing to show for it for the city’s residents. State officials account for the New Jersey profits as all having been accounted for. City treasury the money accounted for as going directly back into the boardwalks. The earnings also being accountable to pay the police patrolling, lifeguards, and public works cleanup crews are how the profits budget is accounted for (Layton, 2019).

According to Layton in her CBS news report, hardworking taxpayers, who fall below the poverty line are mandated to pay municipal set beach pass fees to enjoy a day at the shore. Deputy Mayer Amy Quinn acknowledges shore city residents, both the middle class and below the poverty line, as ineligible for even a discount. Blame for this being placed directly on the State of New Jersey. Ms. Quinn defends the cities role in choosing who becomes discount eligible; therefore, many of the local residents cannot afford beach passes to enjoy the summers, right here where they live (Layton, 2019). In the decade following the year 2007, poverty levels in the US have grown a great deal. Financial experts are revealing we have reverted to the prerecession poverty level, especially those living in a state where the cost of living outweighs their income excessively (Nolan, 2019). The beautiful beaches here in New Jersey is what drives the cost of living to be so inflated, while the states minimum wage remains among the lowest in the Nation for the value of the living ratio. Poverty levels will continue to rise because of the limited access to low-income housing for struggling families. Explanation places on the falling economy have been attributed by financial experts directly to the lack of income, lack of raises in the workplace, and little to no construction of affordable housing for residents (Nolan, 2019). With the income drive of tourism inflating our housing costs, it only makes sense to bring some of those profits back into the community by way of investments.

The benefits added to communities with the addition of affordable housing are dynamic. Triad is a Government-funded agency that provides grants for builders to incentivize the production of affordable housing. According to Triad, low-income housing gives back to communities, and there is an excellent value in the need for low-income housing and supporting those who fall below the poverty line (Triad, 2018). New construction creates new jobs, decreasing the unemployment rates, which over the past decade have been at the highest in state history. Low-income housing, usually constructed on what was once vacant lots, becomes an investment property for the city; the investment return is monumental. Additional investment property increases value, decreases vacant lots in the city, increases value on properties throughout the town overall. The result of the investment is bringing profitability back to both local and state governments through taxes, as well as placing more people in homes (Triad, 2018).

As mentioned earlier, housing discrimination is a recognized issue with the country. Low-income housing, as scarce as it currently is, is most predominantly found in urban cities where many of the residents fall below the poverty line. Mostly white communities often avoided, which would make for a bias disadvantage in city council support (Jost, 2015). Educating residents in both suburban and urban communities surrounding these shore towns is necessary for allowing for a well-sought decision making. The culture set forth by the Housing Alliances in New Jersey is advocating for fair housing. The evident failure of the Government previously has been brought to surface and enforcement of providing low-income housing into all communities will be the culture of today’s enhancements.

New Jersey is a beautiful place to visit during the summer months. More so, it is a lovely place to live. Unfortunately, in all the beauty living expenses have become such many cannot afford to live here. The ones that do and fall below the poverty line, far outweigh those who do not. There is a resolution to end the struggle. If profits from the summer season went to building low-income housing, the financial struggle would be less prominent. A more affordable cost of living would be more evident for many struggling residents. The city would have an investment return on the construction of these properties. Local and state governments would benefit from the taxes these properties would ignite. Ultimately, giving the household more money, and the benefit of residents having more money means spending more money in their communities supporting local businesses. Adding more low-income housing to the shore communities in New Jersey benefits are unmistakable.

References

Jost, K. (2015, November 2015). Housing discrimination. Retrieved from https://library.cqpress.com/cqsearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre20151100600

Layton, J. (2019, June 28). Beach Bums: CBS2 Demanding answers from New Jersey town charging low income families to use public beach. Retrieved from https://newyork.cbslocal.com/2019/06/28/new-jersey-charging-public-beach/

Nolan, K. (2019, January 11). Domestic poverty. Retrieved from https://library.cqpress.com/cqresearcher/document.php?id=cqresrre2019011100&type=hitlist&num=7

Triad (2018, January 16). Benefits of affordable housing: New Jersey affordable housing: Triad Associates Affordable Housing. Retrieved from http://triadincorporated.com/benefits-affordable-housing/