Affordable Housing Money Forfeiture Process Starts Today [AUDIO]
Time's up! Municipalities with hefty Affordable Housing Trust Funds could soon be hearing from the Council On Affordable Housing (COAH) to relinquish those funds to the state. However, Bill Dressel of the New Jersey League of Municipalities says towns are allowed due process.
"COAH has got to provide the towns with notice. They've got to afford them the opportunity for a hearing and they also have to present to them a calculation on how much money's are at risk in these trust funds."
Municipalities were given until July 17th to demonstrate the money targeted for transfer were committed to fund an affordable housing project by way of a legally enforceable agreement with a third party.
The revenue in question, comes from development fees that have been languishing in these trust funds for four years or more. When asked why they've gone uncommitted for so long? Dressel says there are a long list of reasons. He says every municipality has been hard hit by the recession with a period of four years where construction has been at a stand-still. He also adds that the status of COAH has also been in question because they were disbanded by Governor Chris Christie and then reinstated. Dressel says there have also been three Supreme Court Cases on Affordable housing and one of them is still pending.
Around $160 million is estimated to be available today and more funds are expected to be available in a few weeks. In a letter to the state's Mayors, Dressel advises tells them to contest the forfeitures in almost every situation.
Dressel says they also learned that Edison was granted a temporary injunction prohibiting the State from seizing its trust fund dollars until addressed by the Court. Marlboro's had an injunction hearing rescheduled for July 27th.