Earlier today, the State Senate approved S-1, which abolishes COAH and reforms the Fair Housing Act by a vote of 28-3.
S-1 now heads to the General Assembly. We anticipate a hearing on the bill as soon as next week. Municipalities have long called for reform to the Fair Housing Act, and the promulgation of COAH’s July 2008 regulations further demonstrated the need for reform. COAH’s regulations contained significant errors in its vacant land analysis; substantial errors in their projection of growth and allocation of its growth to municipalities; artificially inflated the Statewide needs; and lacked sufficient compliance mechanisms and funding. The end results were unattainable projections and insufficient resources, which in turn push costs on to municipalities and our taxpayers.
The League’s objectives have been relatively simple: on behalf our municipalities and our taxpayers, we seek to avoid burdensome bureaucracy, to promote sound planning and a simple solution and to eliminate the costs placed on our taxpayers. We do have some remaining issues and concerns and will work with the sponsors and legislative leaders to advance legislation in the Assembly.