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In a letter signed by over 100 housing advocates and community development organizations, the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ (the Network) is urging Governor Murphy to sign the Community Wealth Preservation Program bill into law. The legislation, which passed the full NJ Legislature in June, advances equity in the foreclosure process by helping residents to be more competitive during sheriff sales, allowing wealth-generating assets to stay in the community and providing financial security for residents. On the program, Network President and Chief Executive Officer Staci Berger issued the following statement:

“Hard-working families are finding it extremely difficult to compete for quality, affordable homes in today’s housing market. New Jersey’s racial wealth gap, the worst in the nation, harms Black and Brown residents and communities. Predatory investors and speculators are buying up properties around the Garden State, making this disparity even worse and making it harder for NJ residents to find a home they can afford. Homeownership is the biggest wealth generating tool, and the Community Wealth Preservation Program would help people achieve the dream of homeownership. The bill also allows nonprofit community development corporations, with proven track records of success in our communities, to work with residents to make sure these assets stay locally owned and occupied.

“We respectfully request that Governor Murphy to sign this bill in to law. It holds tremendous promise to provide affordable homes, expand health security and financial stability, stem foreclosures, close the racial wealth gap, and to reinvest directly into our neighborhoods. Families that own their homes have the assets to create and expand businesses, send their children to college, or build a nest egg for a secure retirement. By expanding generational wealth, we can help lay a foundation that makes our state an affordable place to call home for generations to come in every community.

“Supporters recognize that the program, championed by Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake, the Urban Mayors Association led by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, and civil rights activists, would be a significant economic booster for our state. We urge Governor Murphy to sign the Community Wealth Preservation Program into law without delay.”

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