Sunday, December 28, 2014

Will COAH's New Ground Rules Mean Less Affordable Housing?

What some advocates describe as a crisis in affordable housing in the state is not likely to be solved anytime soon, as evidenced by the storm of protest during a public hearing yesterday over the latest regulations under consideration by the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing.

Will COAH's New Ground Rules Mean Less Affordable Housing?

Staci Berger, president and CEO of Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey. (NJ Spotlight)
Staci Berger, president and CEO of Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey. (NJ Spotlight)

What some advocates describe as a crisis in affordable housing in the state is not likely to be solved anytime soon, as evidenced by the storm of protest during a public hearing yesterday over the latest regulations under consideration by the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing.

According to a number of lawyers and housing advocates, the new affordable housing rules

do not meet a New Jersey Supreme Court's order and aren't even the same as those the Council on Affordable Housing proposed two months ago.

Most of the 19 people who testified at the hearing in Trenton told COAH members that the rules are substantially different from those that expired in 1999 and will lead to the construction of far fewer affordable units. The Supreme Court last September ordered the state to adopt rules substantially similar to its old regulations, which are now 15 years overdue. Several advocates accused the council of intentionally trying to thwart the provision of affordable units.

The rules call for about 31,000 new affordable homes statewide over the next decade and 22,000 units that should have been built as long ago as 1987, as well as the rehabilitation of almost 63,000 existing units.

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