“Not in my neighborhood!” We’ve all heard it.
Affordable Housing is very much needed throughout the State, but many Municipalities do not want to provide housing for low income residents. Until 1978 zoning laws could successfully prevent it. That changed when the NJ Supreme Court ruled all NJ Municipalities had to allow for a “Reasonable Opportunity” to build Affordable Housing. They didn’t have to build it, or provide the money, but they couldn’t stop a builder from offering it…within limits.
Amie Rukenstein was our speaker today, She and her husband Ron are builders and managers of 6 Housing projects with over 1,000 units.
They took over an existing community, Whispering Waters, in Salem County (see photo # 1). It was a Pit of drugs and crime. In 2008, they completely refurbished the buildings and added a Recreational Center. Renamed Harvest Point, it is an example of what can be done when responsible management replaces slum landlords (see photo # 2)
Amie explained that many low income families had no idea how to maintain their property or live in a health and socially responsible environment. They work with Robin’s Nest…a social services Organization to help residents learn these skills. Breaking the cycle of poverty is extremely challenging.
However, with the proper housing, professional counseling, and job opportunities, people like her can make a difference.
For more information see below..