Construction crews in New Jersey are being given a new tool in their battle to construct affordable housing in the state.
New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie has announced a statewide “build it and they will come” initiative, offering tax incentives to home builders who are willing to take on more construction projects.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has promised to work with Christie to help the state build more housing, while the city is considering a plan to put up more than a million new homes on the market.
“We’ve been doing this for years and years,” Christie said Thursday.
“I’ve done this on the west coast.
We’re going to do it here in New Brunswick.
We’ve done it in California.
We want to build more homes here in the United States.
We think we can.
And I’m really proud to be part of this.”
New Jersey has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, but that hasn’t translated into an influx of construction workers, and Christie said there is “nothing to suggest” that the state will get the help it needs.
“It’s not going to be easy, but we’re going, we’re gonna do it,” he said.
New Brunswick’s housing boom, which Christie called “the biggest in New England,” has already spurred a $10 million state subsidy to help developers pay for their projects.
The state’s biggest housing project is the $1.8 billion Gateway development in East Brunswick, a $500 million project that will be completed by 2020.
The project, which is being built with $600 million in private funding, is set to create 1,500 housing units.
In New York, the state has put a freeze on new housing construction.
The city of New York has approved about 4,000 homes, but the governor said Thursday that he will make the moratorium permanent.
Christie said New Jersey’s construction boom has resulted in a shortage of affordable housing.
“People have been getting a lot of housing for their incomes, and there’s a shortage because of the building boom,” he told reporters.
“And now that housing is in limbo, people are going to have to find another way to pay rent.”
New Brunswick Mayor Richard Tompkins has called on New York to extend the moratorium and build more affordable housing, saying that is what he believes will result in more housing being built.