I read with interest the article about the affordable housing meeting held in Clark and was surprised by some of the comments reportedly made about affordable housing and the people who move into affordable housing.
I work for an agency that serves senior citizens, many of whom where the commentors at this meeting. Every day we receive calls from seniors who are being foreclosed and/or evicted from their homes. The reasons are many; sometimes a spouse dies or goes into a nursing home under Medicaid, cutting not only income in half but assets too; sometimes the income/assets just can't keep up with the cost of living in New Jersey; sometimes the home is paid off but the senior cannot keep up with property taxes; sometimes there's been an illness that drains the assets. Often they sell family heirlooms or obtain equity loans on their largest asset.
These are also 'hard working' people who are not seeking a handout but someplace they can afford to live in a community they've lived in their entire life. I'm not sure what the 'hard working' comment meant when it was said at the meeting. The people who need affordable housing could be anyone, it could be you, but many times they are senior citizens. They call the office and say they want to move into affordable senior housing; they are very surprised when told that there is nothing available, the waiting list for an apartment is 3 - 5 years, and that many of the facilities are not accepting applications because their waiting list is too long. Apparently none of the legislators of the past several decades did not realize that the Baby Boomer would age or that the Greatest Generation would live so long and no one planned for what happens when a person or couple can no longer afford to stay in their home.
I too am a senior citizen and know that if one of the scenerios listed above happens the money I have spent a lifetime accumulating will not last long. I believe that developers and towns have gone crazy with all the building of 'luxury' apartments being built around the county. I often wonder just how high taxes and rent are going to go. Everything just goes up and up and up. To what end? Where will it level off?
The final question callers ask when told there is no affordable housing available is 'what am I going to do?'
Let's all think about that.