Murphy plan to tap into N.J. affordable housing fund breaks campaign promise

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is reviewing the latest compromise offered by legislative leaders to arrive at a budget deal. The governor made concessions of his own Tuesday. (Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is reviewing the latest compromise offered by legislative leaders to arrive at a budget deal. The governor made concessions of his own Tuesday. (Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy promised during his campaign that he would not raid the Affordable Housing Trust Fund as his predecessor did. But his budget plan proposes taking $59 million from the fund for housing-related programs.

That has disappointed Staci Berger, president and CEO of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey.

The fund is specifically dedicated to creating and rehabilitating affordable homes, she said.

“Using the funds for other purposes — even important ones — is a practice that started under Gov. Corzine and really was made an art form by Gov. Christie,” Berger said. “We have really high hopes that we’ll be able to turn the page on those past practices and use the money as intended.”

Berger said affordable housing advocates are hoping the final budget plan the governor and the legislature will decide on by the end of June will avoid diverting the trust fund money and have it go for its intended use into neighborhoods that need affordable homes.

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