March 29, 2016
The March 23 editorial, “A.G. needs to take close look at Lakewood” concerning the expansion of Orthodox Jews into surrounding towns stated, among other things, that the financing of home purchases should be investigated. That is something I’ve always wondered about.
How can a society where the husband is a perpetual student and the wife works part time afford to pay $300,000 to $600,000 for a home? I know of many professional couples who both work full time and have difficulty paying for their home. When new neighborhoods are approached by the Orthodox, home purchase offers are often above the current market value and the payment is in cash. What family living on a part-time income has an extra $500,000 in cash lying around?
These are the same families sending their large families to private schools. Are they paying tuition also? Where are the funds coming from to build the huge yeshivas that are cropping up all over Lakewood? If you drive through Lakewood, you would think that Honda was giving away Odyssey vans. Where did the cash come from to purchase these new vehicles? Were gift tax laws violated?
It’s not any of our business to question another person’s finances, but questions should be asked if a person is receiving government benefits — welfare, subsidized housing, free health insurance, etc. — and still has abundant funds to pay cash for houses and cars. Follow the money: It could provide an interesting explanation for what is going on in Lakewood.