June 22, 2012
LEAGUE CALLS FOR EXTENSION FOR HOUSING TRUST FUNDS
A diverse coalition of stakeholders, including local elected officials and housing and development advocates, today called for support for an extension for the use of the municipal housing trust fund dollars. A 2008 law established a four-year window from the date of collection for the commitment of these dollars. The provision becomes effective on July 17, when up to $161 million in trust fund dollars could be forfeited to the State, according to the Department of Community Affairs. Since 2008, $106 million of these dollars have been expended.
Bi-partisan companion legislation, S-2011 and A-2950, have passed their respective legislative committees and can be voted on in the State Senate and General Assembly in the upcoming days. S-2011 is sponsored by Senators Stack and Singer. A-2950 is sponsored by Assemblymen Green, Coutinho, Coughlin and Assemblywoman Watson-Coleman and Vainieri Huttle. We thank the sponsors for their support.
Ewing Mayor Bert Steinmann stated,
“Since 2008, we have seen the 3rd round regulations set aside by the Courts, and there are no guiding regulations in place. Further, we have lived through an historic downturn in real estate markets, further complicating our efforts to use these dollars. Despite that, my township has done its best to use these dollars, and we have some projects in the works. But forfeiture of these dollars could not come at a worse time. A legislative extension is appropriate. The alternate is that these projects may not advance, and my taxpayers could be faced with making up these costs down the road.”
Pittsgrove Mayor Linda DuBois stated,
“Until now, there has been no option for the Legislature and Administration. But now faced with the upcoming deadline, there is finally a viable option. The Legislature acted in 2008 at what the time seemed a reasonable timetable for the expenditure of these dollars, before the Courts action and before the recession. The Administration inherited a regulatory limbo, including this provision. We blame no one, and what we propose instead is a solution that we believe works for all parties.”
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For further information contact:
Michael Cerra, League of Municipalities, 609-695-3481 x120, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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