Thousands of disabled people in NJ face homelessness

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Over 3,000 disabled people are facing homelessness in New Jersey due to the end of the Housing Assistance Program, and one state assemblywoman wants to find a solution.

A $15 million state temporary pilot program that paid the bulk of rent for people who have been declared permanently disabled ended in July, and many of the people on the program have struggled to find housing.

Their disabilities mean they cannot work, and the shortage of federal housing has kept the majority of them on waiting lists.

"You cannot stop 3,000 people from living in a place that they call home, where they're comfortable, and to evict them when there's no place for them to go," said Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle, a Bergen County Democrat.

Huttle, who chairs the Human Services committee in the Assembly, recently held a hearing on the Housing Assistance Program's end.

She said the administration will make 1,000 more subsidized housing vouchers available, but since those have to spread statewide the impact will be small.

"We need to have had a plan that when this program does expire, where are these people going to go?" Huttle said. "They need to find permanent, sustainable living areas."