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May 13, 2010

Re:       Governor Christie’s Affordable Housing Announcement

Dear Mayor:

Governor Christie today announced the Administration’s proposed affordable housing policy, and indicated the Administration’s intention to work with the sponsors of S-1 to pass housing reform by July 1, 2010. (Click here for the Governor's Press Release)

The Administration’s proposal includes the following:

  • The Council of on Affordable Housing (COAH) will be abolished, six months after the effective date of the bill.
  • The Fair Housing Act will be repealed, six months after the effective date of the bill.
  • Prior round obligations are forgiven. 
  • The statewide calculation of need and obligation will be eliminated.
  • Affordable Housing Plan certifications by COAH will remain in effect until the certifications expire.
  • Municipalities with pending 3rd round petitions are permitted to pursue the petition and implement that plan, or withdraw and submit a new plan consistent with the new law.
  • “Present Need” will be defined as rehabilitation need. Municipalities will be required to conduct an inventory of what housing is in need of rehabilitation and develop a plan for the rehabilitation. 
  • “Prospective Need” will be 10% of future residential development, for developments of 10 or more units.   For such developments, housing may be provided on-site or off-site.
  • For developments of less than 10 units, a payment will be made to the municipal housing trust fund.
  •  Priorities for development and funding will be provided for special needs housing.
  • The 2.5% fee on non-residential development will be eliminated. 
  • Municipalities seeking to comply and legal protection will file their housing plans with the Department of Community Affairs (DCA.)

As you know, the League has long championed a thorough reform of the Fair Housing Act, and advocated for a sustainable housing policy for all our communities, urban, suburban and rural.    We have long argued for the basic components of the necessary reform: a solution should avoid burdensome bureaucracy, offer a simple solution to affordable housing issues and lessen the cost of compliance on our taxpayers.     While the Administration’s proposal is just that, it is still a conceptual proposal with many details that need to be worked out. That said, there is good reason to believe that needed reform is indeed on the way.  

If you have any questions or need additional information please contact Mike Cerra at 609-695-3481 x120 or by e-mail mcerra@njslom.com

Very truly yours,

 

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

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