From the Record:
A Senate panel unanimously approved a measure Thursday that would let municipalities and a new state corporation buy foreclosed homes and offer them to low- and moderate-income residents.
The bill creates the New Jersey Foreclosure Relief Corp, which would buy foreclosed homes, or allow municipalities to acquire them while getting a two-for-one credit against their affordable housing obligations, according to the bill. Funding would come from the state’s million affordable housing trust fund, municipal affordable housing trust funds, bonds from New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and the Realty Transfer Fee.
There were 58,000 foreclosure actions filed in New Jersey in 2010 and 66,000 in 2009, according to the bill.
“One foreclosed property can have a negative impact on the value of the rest of the homes on the block,” said Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Middlesex), who co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Raymond Lesniak, (D-Union). “This isn’t just about foreclosed properties or affordable homes – it’s about communities in economic crisis, and it affects all New Jersey residents, whether they qualify for affordable housing, are living in foreclosed home, or not.”
The Senate Economic Growth Committee unanimously approved the bill, (S1566), which heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee next before going to the full Senate for consideration.