Opinion: Future affordable housing residents are listening

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“What is said at these meetings matters and I hope my neighbors and residents of this beautiful community we share will welcome new neighbors with open arms instead of putting up roadblocks.”

This is what Deputy Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning said during the March 1 Hopewell Township Committee meeting.

I love that she said this because the people that will live in these future homes are listening. Some already live here and some will move into the township from other towns.

A small number of committed residents continue to oppose our future affordable housing at committee meetings, and I wonder how future residents of these units must feel. Do our neighbors that are struggling financially want to leave rather than possibly move into the units when built? Will people want to move into the township, or will they feel unwelcome here and choose another town?

They’re our future and current neighbors and friends. Our kids will be in school together, we’ll work together and shop together.

Every town in New Jersey is mandated to build affordable housing, which is fantastic because circumstances change over a lifetime. Some are just starting out and need that first apartment. Retirees downsize to more affordable homes. People lose jobs, become disabled, divorce etc. We need options other than moving out of the area when life happens.

For me, affordable housing is reassuring, and I welcome new and current residents that will move to these future homes.

Angela Jacobs
Hopewell Township