In the early 1970s, there were people with disabilities who couldn’t go to school or get basic educational services. In some states, they couldn’t vote or hold public office, get a drivers license, sign a contract, get married. Some states even had so-called “ugly laws” that banned from public places people whose physical appearance rendered them unpleasant to look at. That was legal. Twenty-five years ago today that widespread, systemic discrimination against people with disabilities was rendered illegal when President H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act. It was breathtaking in scope but didn’t end discrimination. Executive Director of Disability Rights New Jersey Joe Young told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that the major significance that the ADA has, was that it give people with disabilities a voice.
People with disabilities shouldn't have to leave town because they can't afford a home
By Diane Riley
In January, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a, landmark decision affirming that municipalities must meet the need for housing that accrued during a 16-year gap period when New Jersey's fair housing laws weren't being enforced properly.
This unanimous ruling was a giant step forward for tens of thousands of individuals and families who have been waiting years to find homes they could afford. It means that towns all over New Jersey must now move forward and identify ways to encourage and support the building and rehabilitation of homes for people with limited financial means. And because of this ruling, more homes will surely be built in the years to come to address our state's ongoing housing affordability crisis.
More than 100 municipalities have already reached agreements with advocates and developers establishing obligations of more than 32,000 homes.
Yet in a trial that is currently underway in Mercer County, five towns with a higher cost of living - Princeton, West Windsor, East Windsor, Hopewell and Lawrence - are arguing to artificially lower their affordable housing numbers. Their arguments assert that people with extremely low incomes, families who make less than 20 percent of the area median income, should not be counted in the housing methodology at all because they will never be able to afford living in these towns even if the towns properly zone for additional homes.