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With a rapidly growing population of elderly New Jersey residents, Assembly Democrats Angela McKnight, Annette Chaparro, Nicholas Chiaravalloti and Wayne DeAngelo have sponsored a resolution to establish a task force on senior housing. The measure recently passed the fully Assembly, 75-0-0.

“Within the next 15 years, the number of New Jersey residents age 65 and over is expected to grow by nearly 50 percent and account for one fifth of the state’s total population,” said McKnight (D- Hudson). “That is why it is absolutely critical we have a plan in place to address the specific housing needs of this sizable population.”

The resolution (AR-51) establishes an Assembly task force for the purpose of studying the availability and affordability of housing for senior citizens throughout the state. This task force will be comprised of nine members, including representatives of affordable housing developers, public housing authority and the senior citizen community.

Various advocates and experts will be called upon to share information with the task force about existing eligibility criteria, length of time applicants must wait for housing to become available and the quantity of senior housing throughout each county.

“The members of this task force will be able to learn from the experienced perspective of individuals involved with senior housing matters,” said Chaparro (D- Hudson). “The testimony of these experts will allow the task force to understand where our state is in terms of available options for elderly residents.”

The task force will issue a report of its findings and offer recommendations, including whether additional housing must be constructed and where it should be built, as well as any other relevant legislative or regulatory action deemed necessary by the members.

“It is our responsibility as a society to help care for the elderly amongst us,” said Chiaravalloti (D- Hudson). “We must ensure this vulnerable population has the opportunity to comfortably live out their lives without worrying about finding or affording housing in their home state.”

“With an average retirement age of 65, New Jersey’s senior citizens must have access to affordable housing once they no longer have a steady stream of income from employment,” said DeAngelo (D- Mercer, Middlesex). “The findings of this task force will help lawmakers determine the right course of action to best assist this community going forward.”

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