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April 30, 2014

Re: Affordable Housing, COAH proposes new regulations

Dear Mayor:

Earlier today, the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) approved for publication new affordable housing regulations.  In doing so, COAH met the Court imposed deadline of May 1 to propose new regulations to determine municipal affordable housing obligations.  The regulations will be published in the June 2 New Jersey Register, commencing a 60-day public comment period.  COAH will hold a public hearing on the regulations on July 2 at the offices of the New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance agency.    The COAH board is scheduled to meet again in August and in October, when it is expected to approve final regulations, which will be effective upon publication in the November 17 New Jersey Register.

The proposed regulations were not available before the meeting but are now posted on the COAH website at: http://www.nj.gov/dca/services/lps/hss/ruleproposal.html

The League will reserve comment on the proposed regulations until we can undertake a full and thorough review.  However, we can provide a basic overview.   The regulations establish a housing cycle from 2014 through 2024.   As you may know, there are three basic components to a municipality’s affordable housing obligation.  First, there is the rehabilitation need, or “present need,” which is now based upon the 2010 Census. COAH estimates a statewide need of 62,859 units for this component.   Second, there is what COAH is calling the “fair share need”, or “prospective need, which is the estimated number of units that will be needed from 2014 to 2024.  Here, COAH estimates the need at 30,633.   Lastly, there is what COAH is calling the prior round unmet need, which COAH estimates at 21,588.  

You can review the proposed obligations in the Technical Appendices at http://www.nj.gov/dca/services/lps/hss/statsandregs/599_appendix_for_web.pdf

COAH has indicated that a municipality can rely on an inclusionary ordinance that imposes a 10 percent set-aside to address its obligations, but will require the municipality to prove that the inclusionary zoning is economically feasible.

The League is reviewing the proposed regulations and will provide a summary and commentary in the upcoming days.  In the meanwhile question should be directed to your attorneys. In addition, feel free to contact Mike Cerra, Director of Government Affairs at mcerra@njslom.com or 609-695-3481 x120.     

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

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