|March 19, 2008
Affordable Housing Legislation/Regional Contribution Agreements
This past Thursday, Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts introduced housing legislation that would enact several changes to the Fair Housing Act, including the elimination of regional contribution agreements (RCAs.)
The bill (A-500) will be available online shortly at: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/
We anticipate a hearing on the bill sometime after the budget recess, probably in May, and that the Speaker will seek a vote by the full General Assembly sometime before the summer recess commences in late June.
A-500 is an omnibus bill, which includes most of the revisions the Speaker proposed back in the fall. (Please see our Dear Mayor Letter of December 11, 2007.) Among its’ major provisions are:
- The elimination of regional contribution agreements (RCA.)
- The creation of a new urban housing fund, to replace RCA funding, by diverting $20 million from the revenues raised by the state realty transfer tax.
- A 2.5% statewide development fee on all non-residential development.
- Requiring municipal housing trust dollars be spent within four years, or forfeited to the State.
- Mandatory density bonuses to developers for inclusionary developments.
- A 20% mandatory set-aside for affordable housing for all state-assisted development projects, including developments in “smart growth areas” and transit villages.
- Require one-for-one replacement of affordable housing units lost through redevelopment.
- Expand the eligibility for affordable housing units by raising income limit to 110% of median income. Further, 25% of the new housing will be dedicated for households with annual incomes of about $19,000.
The Speaker’s press release on the legislation provides more details, and is available online at: http://www.assemblydems.com/pdf/0809Session/prroberts031308.pdf
The League has asked its special RCA Committee and its COAH/Affordable Housing Technical Committee to review the bill, and provide their comments and recommendations. While the League has long-established policy in support of maintenance and expansion of all COAH compliance techniques, including RCA agreements, this bill, as you can tell, is a comprehensive and complicated piece of legislation that goes well beyond the elimination of these agreements. We will provide our analysis of the bill to you in the upcoming weeks.
A-500 has been assigned to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee. We would strongly suggest you review the bill for its impact on your community, and provide feedback and comments to the Speaker at:
The Hon. Joseph J. Roberts
Speaker of the General Assembly
Brooklawn Shopping Plaza
Route 120 South & Browning Road
Brooklawn, NJ 08030
Tel. (856) 742-7600
Fax. (856) 742-1831
We would also suggest forwarding such comments to the members of the Assembly Housing and Local Government committee, and such contact information is available online at: http://www.njslom.org/assembly-committee3.html, as well as to your local Assembly representatives.
Lastly, we would ask that you copy the League on any comments you provide. Again, we are in the process of seeking comments on the bill from our committees and will provide our analysis in the upcoming weeks, and well before any anticipated hearings on A-500.
Questions on this correspondence can be directed to Mike Cerra at email@example.com or at (609) 695-3481 x120.
Very truly yours,
William G. Dressel, Jr.