Marlboro should keep affordable housing funds home

This letter to the editor is in response to a recent letter to the editor from Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik, “Regional Agreements Could Produce Homes.”

Nice try Mayor Hornik! While seemingly altruistic, the Marlboro mayor’s plan to give away affordable housing funds to municipalities affected by superstorm Sandy is anything but.

It is painfully obvious Mayor Hornik is simply trying to avoid building affordable housing in his own town for his own residents in need. In fact, the mayor would rather give away money designated for affordable housing than build more of it. Does he really believe there aren’t people in Marlboro who can benefit from it?

It is recommended that no more than 30 percent of one’s income be allocated to rent or a mortgage. For a single person earning $30,000 a year, that would mean spending no more than $750 a month on rent, which is almost impossible to find in New Jersey.

According to an article in The New York Times, New Jersey rents in 2012 — for a typical unit, built in 1965 with one to two bedrooms — were averaging $1,274 a month, 2 percent above the $1,249 of the previous year. Furthermore, the New Jersey Association of Realtors expected rents to rise about 10 percent by 2014. I don’t know of any salaries that increase by 10 percent in two years.

There is such an irrational stigma and stereotype attached to those in need of affordable housing that towns and mayors will do whatever they can to avoid using money earmarked for affordable housing — even give it away.

I know many people harbor mean-spirited, bigoted feelings toward those who require affordable housing; I have heard their fear-mongering opinions; it is misplaced, prejudiced and morally unjustifiable.

Shame on Mayor Hornik for trying to shirk his responsibilities to the working poor in his own town. Lynn Breitenbach Manalapan