July 13, 2010
RE: Affordable Housing & COAH Reform
While attention has focused recently on the new 2% tax levy cap and the promised “toolkit” reform package, we again call your attention to the long-needed reform to the Fair Housing Act and the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH.)
On June 1, the State Senate passed S-1, which abolished COAH and makes other reforms to the Fair Housing Act. For more on S-1, please see our Dear Mayor letter of June 10, located at: http://www.njslom.org/letters/ml061010-coah.html.
The following week, the Assembly Housing and Local Government committee held a hearing for S-1, but did not advance the bill. While the Committee Chair and other leaders have indicated their intention of “blowing up COAH,” they also indicate that the Assembly was not prepared to advance S-1 until the fall, allowing them time to fully vet the bill and adopt further changes. For more on the Assembly hearing, please see our Dear Mayor letter of June 18, located at: http://www.njslom.org/letters/ml061810-league-testifies.html.
Meanwhile, the deeply-flawed COAH regulations remain in place as the COAH board continues to meet and implements the 3rd round regulations. Further, municipalities must again collect the 2.5% fee on non-residential development, effective July 1. For more on this fee, please see our Dear Mayor letter of July 1, located at: http://www.njslom.org/letters/ml070110-commercial-fee.html.
So, as the Legislature considers the “toolkit” reform package, the League is urging Legislators to also prioritize COAH reform, which is certainly as needed and important as many of the items in the proposed toolkit. Please contact your Legislators, particularly your Assembly representatives and urge them to prioritize and advance reforms to the Fair Housing Act and COAH immediately. If you send any correspondence, please copy the League as an FYI.
For more on this issue, please contact Mike Cerra at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-3481 x120.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.