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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Affordable Housing: The Enemy of Every Homeowner

The danger of the recently vetoed New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act (A.2168 and S.1566), in addition to its effect of being discriminatory against minorities and working-class homeowners,  was its probability of destroying the value of most residential real estate in New Jersey in furtherance of the goal of converting foreclosed homes into "affordable housing."

The essence of the bill was to facilitate foreclosures so these properties could be turned into deed-restricted properties for low-income residents or social welfare organizations to use as halfway houses, rehab centers and group homes for juvenile offenders and others.

But the real goal of the bill's proponents is to create more affordable housing by the easiest means possible -- bringing down the value of all real estate so prices would be within reach of the so-called "poor."  Just check out this press release from New Jersey Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green.

It should be clear now that the proponents of affordable housing are the sworn enemies of every homeowner and property owner.  All affordable housing reduces the value of all other real estate.  New construction that is dedicated to affordable housing hurts existing home prices because it increases supply in a time of invisible demand.  All affordable housing, whether as new construction or the conversion of existing properties, reduces the attractiveness of neighborhoods in which affordable housing is constructed.  Anyone who disagrees with that statement need only compare the number of tenants -- renters -- desperate to move out of affordable housing, with the number of property owners willing to give up their property in order to move into affordable housing.  Even if you disagree with the aesthetics of certain affordable housing developments, the pure fact is that the overwhelming majority of home buyers will avoid buying a home near affordable housing, halfway houses, rehab centers and other facilities housing people not generally considered to be the most desirable neighbors.  

The proponents of affordable housing and various social welfare programs who argue that these conversions will help stabilize property values are either dangerously ignorant or unrepentant liars; in either event, they are willing to destroy your home value so that they may gain votes or a cleaner conscience.  They may call that being socially conscious.  In reality, it is a form of narcissism, selfishness in the extreme, and they want you to pay for it.

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