We’re all familiar with religious right whack-job Pat Robertson’s tendency to blame natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake on things like US abortion policy and 1791-1804 Haitian Revolution (which he characterized as “a pact with the devil”).
Assemblyman Scott Rumana (R-Wayne Township) channeled Pat Robertson in an asinine and offensive April Fool’s Day press release that, sadly, did not appear to be a joke. In his press release, Rumana blamed affordable housing advocates for at least some of the damage caused be recent flooding in his district.
Claims by so-called affordable housing advocates that wealthy municipalities want to build walls that exclude working New Jerseyans, seniors, and people with special needs are completely unfounded.
The only walls the communities in the district I represent want built are flood walls thanks to the flooding that has been made worse due to mandated ‘affordable housing’ overdevelopment and flawed policies like bonus density. I urge these self-proclaimed advocates to come see how devastating their misguided policies have been in communities in the Passaic River Basin.
Rumana’s remarks are not only disgraceful, they’re also misleading. Anyone who blames COAH for overdevelopment in New Jersey is either lying or misinformed.
According to the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (running from 2005 to 2009), only 4% of the owner-occupied units in Wayne Township were valued at less than $200,000. More than half were worth more than $500,000. More than 3/4 of renters in the Township paid more $1,000 per month. Granted, housing prices are lower now than they were then, but that isn’t “affordable housing” in any economy.
Wayne Township is overdeveloped not because of anything affordable housing advocates have done, but because local government officials allowed developers to blanket their town with large single family homes and McMansions.