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February 25, 2010

Re:    I.   Affordable Housing Update
        II.   Governor Christie’s Mayors Legislative Day Speech Broadcast
       III.   NJ Future Redevelopment Forum Postponed

Dear Mayor:

I.          Affordable Housing Update

We would like to provide you with an update regarding the multiple efforts seeking reform of the Fair Housing Act and the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH.)

Senators Lesniak (D-20), Bateman (R-16) and Van Drew (D-1) have sponsored S-1, which is intended to reform the Fair Housing Act and abolish COAH.    S-1 is slated to be considered by the Senate Economic Growth Committee on March 8, and if recommended by the Committee could be voted on by the full Senate on March 11 or March 22.  hen S-1 is considered by the full Senate, we anticipate significant amendments to the bill that was introduced. We will advise you when draft language is available. 

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22), who chairs the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee, announced his intention to hold a March 4 hearing on affordable housing.  There are two Assembly companions to S-1:   A-2071, sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14); and A-2057, sponsored by Assemblyman David Rible (R-11.)  

We anticipate the March 4 Assembly hearing will not focus on any particular bill but on testimony of stakeholders on the issue and the Committee plans to consider legislation at a later date. 

As you know, Governor Christie’s Executive Order (EO) 12 established the “Housing Opportunity Task Force.” While the Appellate Division ordered a temporary stay of the EO’s 90 day stay on COAH, the work of the Task Force continues.  Former State Senator Marcia Karrow, who chairs the Committee, has indicated that she will be meeting in the upcoming weeks with various stakeholders, including the League.   She has also advised the League that she intends to reach out to municipalities in the second half of March. 

We are aware that it appears these multiple efforts are on parallel tracks. The League remains fully engaged with the Senate on S-1, the General Assembly and the Governor’s Task Force, and we anticipate that these efforts will eventually intersect. 

For more on S-1, please see our Dear Mayor letters of January 22 and February 1.    For more on the Governor’s Executive Order 12, the temporary stay of that order and the Housing Opportunity Task Force, please see our Dear Mayor letters of February 9, February 16, and February 22.

Further, questions on this issue, or if you would be interested in joining our Mayor’s Housing Policy committee, please contact Mike Cerra at mcerra@njslom.com or 609-695-3481 x120.  

II.        Governor Christie’s Mayors Legislative Day Speech Broadcast

At yesterday’s 18th Annual Mayors Legislative Day at the Statehouse Governor Chris Christie addressed the audience.  During his speech, the Governor discussed the need for interest arbitration reform, the reduction of state aid and COAH reform.  The Governor’s remarks can been seen on this weekend’s NJN On The Record program which airs Sunday, February 28, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and Monday, March 1, 2010 at 6:30 a.m.

For more information on yesterday’s event please see our Dear Mayor letter of February 24.

III. NJ Future Redevelopment Forum Postponed

The New Jersey Future Redevelopment Forum scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, February 26 has been postponed because of inclement weather.

For more information, please see the NJ Future website at: http://www.njfuture.org/

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director



 

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