July 3, 2012
RE: Appellate Division to Consider Issue of Housing Trust Funds;
Failure of Council on Affordable Housing to Adopt Trust Fund Commitment Regulations.
Yesterday, we learned the Appellate Division will consider motions to prohibit the State from seizing municipal housing trust fund dollars. Specifically, the Fair Share Housing Center filed an application with the Appellate Division, seeking permission to file an emergent motion seeking an immediate preliminary injunction against COAH taking any money from any municipal affordable housing trust fund prior to the hearing of this appeal and a permanent injunction against COAH from taking money from the municipal trust funds until the agency has promulgated regulations and provides municipalities reasonable amount of time to comply.
The League immediately wrote the Court, expressing support for the motion and requesting that if the Court is to consider the appeal that the League be allowed to intervene in the matter. The Court granted amicus status to the League on July 3, 2012.
The Court agreed to hear the appeal and granted the League’s request to intervene. The briefs for the Fair Share Housing Center and the League are due this Friday, July 6. Oral argument will be heard on Friday, July 13. The Court intends to dispose of the matter before the July 17 deadline established in PL. 2008. c. 46.
While we are encouraged that the Court will consider this matter, the League notes that the ultimate fate of these trust funds is far from certain. We encourage municipalities to continue any and all efforts to protect this funding through commitment and expenditure of these dollars. Further, one municipality of which we know (Marlboro) was successful in seeking an injunction on its own at the trial level, and others may follow suit.
We will continue to advise you of developments. In the meanwhile, questions can be directed either to Mike Cerra at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-3481 x120 or Matt Weng, email@example.com or 609-695-3481 x137.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.