March 31, 2008
AIF participated in a rally for affordable housing on the steps of the Old Capitol. Barney Bishop, President and CEO of Associated Industries, served as the emcee for this event and joined the many other members of the Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund Coalition and State CFO Alex Sink.
AIF supports full funding of the Sadowski Act by repealing the existing cap so that businesses can continue to attract a stable workforce capable of being housed in affordable dignity. In addition, AIF supports establishing incentives for local governments to establish truly “fast-track” permitting for workforce housing projects. AIF also supports the Department of Community Affairs’ efforts to streamline and fast-track local and state review of land use, subdivision, site plan and building permit applications for affordable housing projects, as well as the review of application denials by a state board where appropriate. The justification for the preceding actions is necessarily tied to an acknowledgement that affordable workforce housing has become a critical state interest, deserving of an overriding state interest status.
There are also many houses uninhabited and people ready to buy them if they could receive help with closing costs and down payment assistance. Local governments across the state have extensive lists of buyers-to-be that have been approved for down payment assistance, and the Sadowski Trust Fund can help them invest in the American dream of home ownership. The Sadowski funds will promote home ownership, stimulate economic growth with public-private partnerships, and provide a financial boost many times greater than the amount of state funds appropriated for housing. For every $1 million of state funding, $10.36 million of economic activity is generated. The bottom line is that affordable housing dollars leverage private and federal dollars and will put the construction industry back to work.