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May 16, 2012                                        LEGISLATIVE ALERT

Re:   Affordable Housing, COAH Trust Funds, A-2950

Dear Mayor, 

On Monday, Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22), Chair of the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee, introduced A-2950, which would extend the time municipalities have to commit fees and payments-in-lieu of constructing affordable units to six years.    The League supports this legislation.

Like A-2717, which we previously referenced in our May 4 and April 2 Dear Mayor letters,  A-2950 will provide municipalities at risk of losing significant affordable housing trust fund dollars in July a reasonable extension of time to commit such funds for expenditure.

To summarize, A-2950 will:

  1. Extend the deadline to commit trust fund dollars from four years from the date of collection to six years.  Thus, dollars subject to forfeiture to the State this July would be protected until July 2014; and 
  2. Provide that any dollars forfeited after six years will either be transferred to the State Affordable Housing Trust Fund, or to the County if it has established a “Homelessness Trust Fund pursuant to NJSA 52:27D-287(e)  or if it serves an “urban county pursuant to section 102(a)(6) of the “Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.”   This provision allows for the trust fund dollars to be retained and used locally.

These funds were collected to help municipalities meet their COAH obligations.  Forfeiture to the State will mean that these municipalities will lack sufficient funding to meet their future obligations, once the ongoing litigation before the State Supreme Court is resolved.  This would result in taxpayers being required to fund these obligations.   Eight years of litigation over COAH, an historic downturn in the housing market and ensuing uncertainty over affordable housing obligations has resulted in the current situation.  

We would urge you to reach out to your Assembly representatives and ask for their support of A-2950.  We are hopeful that companion Senate legislation will be introduced shortly, and that these bills will be considered soon.  

The bill is online at: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2012/Bills/A3000/2950_I1.PDF

In the meanwhile, questions on this issue and letter can be directed to Mike Cerra at mcerra@njslom.com or (609) 695-3481 x120.

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

 

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