Over 450 New Jersey Advocates Tell Congress No Housing Cuts

PRESS RELEASE
Press Contacts at Monarch Housing Associates:
• Kate Kelly, (908) 272-5363 x224 (o), (908) 347-1064 (c), kkelly@monarchhousing.org
• Richard Brown, (908) 272-5363 x 225 (o) , (908) 370-5249 (c), rbrown@monarchhousing.org

For Immediate Release

Housing and homelessness advocates share their stories with NJ Congressional delegation in DC
July 26, 2017 —  Over 450 advocates have travel to Washington, DC with the message “No
Cuts to Housing.” Constituents will meet with New Jersey’s congressional delegation regarding investments in affordable homes to prevent and end homelessness. Advocates will urge legislators to oppose proposed devastating spending cuts to programs that give New Jersey residents access to affordable homes.
Due to low spending limits, the draft U.S. House of Representatives Transportation Housing and Urban
Development (T-HUD) Appropriations Committee bill, released earlier this month, provides at least $1.5
billion less than what is needed. This proposed funding level will not ensure that every household in New
Jersey currently receiving housing assistance remain in their homes.
The funding cuts in the House Bill are not as deep as President Trump’s proposed budget released in May.

However, the bill significantly cuts funding that New Jersey relies on for critical affordable housing
resources that rebuild the lives of extremely low income seniors, people with disabilities, families with
children, veterans, and other vulnerable population.

“The impact of sequestration and proposed further budget cuts reduces the budget of the Housing and
Urban Development (HUD) as well as other domestic programs. The lack of affordable homes and the
resources needed to maintain existing public housing creates an affordable housing state of emergency in
New Jersey,” says Richard Brown, CEO of Monarch Housing Associates. “The state’s housing affordability crisis is exacerbated by the increasing lack of affordable homes and threats to Medicaid funding. Our elected officials in Washington should continue to fight cuts to housing funding”
On July 26, advocates will convene in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Individuals impacted by
homelessness and living in each New Jersey’s twelve congressional districts will directly address New
Jeresey’s Congressional delegation. The speakers will share their stories and explain how further cuts to
housing funding would hurt low-income New Jereyans

“The Trump Administration’s proposed housing cuts are unfathomable and cruel,” said Staci Berger,
president and chief executive officer of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network). “New Jersey’s economy has failed to keep pace with the rest of the nation; our residents and neighborhoods need investment and support so that we can get back on track. We urge our
Congressional delegation to oppose these cuts, as many of them have, and to help build a thriving NJ by
standing up for policies and programs that make sure we can all afford to call NJ home.”
Nohemy Zabala lives in Morristown and will be at the Congressional Reception in Washington, DC. She is sharing her story on July 26 because she says, “Housing waiting lists can go on for years. If a family does not have a place to go, they end up living in a shelter or on the street.” Recently homeless, Nohemy and her mother now live in their own home and this fall, she will attend Drew University. She worries that further cuts to federal housing funding will result in fewer families offered housing opportunities.

PRESS RELEASE
Press Contacts at Monarch Housing Associates:
• Kate Kelly, (908) 272-5363 x224 (o), (908) 347-1064 (c), kkelly@monarchhousing.org
• Richard Brown, (908) 272-5363 x 225 (o) , (908) 370-5249 (c), rbrown@monarchhousing.org
2
“We elect our Congress to be the voice of everyone –the rich and the poor,” says Nohemy Zabala. “Many
organizations want to help the many people experiencing homelessness that need help – the lack of
willingness to help end homelessness is not the issue. The lack of funding is issue.”
Brian Kulas of East Brunswick will join Nohemy and other advocates traveling to Washington, DC and tell his story. “I am very fortunate to have affordable housing. I believe that many like me share the same
potential to be an advocate,” says Brian who was once homeless but now lives in his own home. He has
attended college and become an advocate for affordable homes. “Stable affordable housing is not only a
basic need but can be a cornerstone to recovery generating self-improvement. Funding for affordable
housing builds stronger communities, fosters inclusion that builds unity, and breaks down social barriers
between neighbors.”

“All of the improvements that I made in my life, began with my rental subsidy and having my own home – being given Housing First. A rental voucher gave me the opportunity to choose a new direction for my
future and discover a healthier way to live.” says Brian.

Policy experts from across New Jersey will also share their perspective on the impact in New Jersey from
proposed funding cuts from Washington.

“With a shortage of over 212,000 affordable homes in New Jersey and more people moving into the ranks of the working poor in recent years, housing cuts at the federal level would further devastate the 37% of residents of our state who struggle to meet all of their basic necessities with the high cost of housing,”says Renee Koubiadis, Executive Director Anti-Poverty Network (APN) of New Jersey, a partner organization in planning the Congressional Reception. “APN is proud to support the Congressional Reception as part of our statewide mission to prevent, reduce, and end poverty in New Jersey. The 450 people attending this year’s Congressional Reception include constituents from each congressional district who have lived experience of poverty and/or homelessness. These voices critical part to the dialogue for housing funding and solutions.”

Monarch Housing Associates has taken the lead in planning the Congressional Reception with 38 partner organizations from across New Jersey. All of partners, donors, and bus sponsors contribute to the success o f the Congressional Reception.

“Catholic Charities works to serve those in need and to empower them to build lives of dignity and
economic security. We know how critical safe, affordable housing is to the well-being of families, and so we are distressed as we contemplate cuts in housing assistance,” says Kevin Hickey, Executive Director,
Catholic Charities Diocese of Camden, a partner organization in planning the Congresional Reception “Faithbased groups and the non-profit sector do not have the resources to replace those functions which are the legitimate responsibility of government and the private sector. We believe in the common good, and governmental housing programs for the disabled, working people, and the poor are vital for the promotion of the common good.”

You can follow the Congressional Reception on twitter and facebook at #NJHillDay and #NoHousingCuts. The Congressional Reception takes place in conjunction with “Our Homes, Our Voices,” the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC)’s National Housing Week of Action. You can follow “Our Homes, Our Voices” at #OurHomesOurVoices.

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