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Assembly Panel Approves Green Bill Giving Towns More Time to Comply with Affordable Housing Requirements

Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Middlesex/Somerset/Union) that would aid towns in providing more affordable housing was approved by an Assembly panel on Thursday.

“This measure will help towns comply with their affordable housing requirements in a more thoughtful and comprehensive manner without an imminent threat of having their funds confiscated,” said Green, Chair of the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee, which approved the bill. “When it comes to providing much-needed affordable housing, we should be working with towns to provide more time for the planning and development process, rather than penalizing them.”

The bill (A2950) would extend the time period that a municipality has to commit to expend collected development fees and payments-in-lieu of constructing affordable housing units, which are held in a municipal trust fund, from four years after the date of collection to six years after the date of collection.

The bill would also require towns that fail to expend all of their trust funds to transfer them to their county governments for the production and rehabilitation of homes in the same county.

Under current law, a municipality that fails to commit to expend the balance required in the municipal trust fund within four years is required to transfer the remaining unspent balance at the end of the four-year period to the “New Jersey Housing Trust Fund” to be used in the housing region of the transferring municipality for the authorized purposes of that fund.

The measure now awaits consideration by the full Assembly.