Extension to Spend Affordable Housing Money
The New Jersey Senate recently passed a bill (S. 2011) which extends the amount of time municipalities have to commit fees and payments-in-lieu of constructing affordable units from four to six years. Under the four-year-old law, towns were to have forfeited around $161 million beginning next month and the State’s Governor Chris Christie planned to use the additional money in his proposed budget. However, because the State’s affordable housing formulae had been tied up in court recently, mayors suggested they did not have enough guidance as to how to spend the remaining funds and argued taking away the money would not rid communities of affordable housing obligations, which would shift the added costs to taxpayers. The bill states that a municipality that fails to commit to expend the balance will be required to transfer the remaining unspent balance at the end of the extended six-year period to its county government, if eligible, and otherwise to the “New Jersey Affordable Housing Trust Fund,” to be used in the housing region of the transferring municipality. S. 2011, sponsored by Senator Brian P. Stack (D-Jersey City), passed the Senate by a vote of 27-12 and has been sent to Governor Christie for a signature.

Click here to read S. 2011.