Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee Chair Jerry Green on Tuesday called on the Christie administration to work together in a bipartisan fashion with the legislature to craft sound affordable housing policy in light of yesterday’s court injunction barring the administration from raiding up to $164 million in municipal affordable housing trust funds.
“This is the second time the courts have halted the Christie administration from raiding these funds. I hope the administration will now sit down and work with both houses of the legislature to come up with policies to deal with affordable housing rather than keeping towns and communities in limbo by allowing it to remain tied up in the courts.
“I have waited three years for an opportunity to work with the administration to resolve this issue. Because it has been tied up in the courts, I decided as Chairman of the Housing Committee that I would not allow it to be used as a political football. Instead, I have sponsored bills that I thought were fair and moved our state in the right direction.
“However, the Christie administration had alternative plans so I decided to wait for the courts to weigh in on the matter. This week they made a decision that I feel is telling us we need to move in a new direction rather than using critical housing funds to balance the budget.
“We have both been in agreement for the last three years that COAH is not the answer. Here’s an agency that hasn’t met in years and everybody agrees it’s no longer in a position to make the right decisions, so let’s work together now in a bipartisan manner to come up with a policy that works best for the people of New Jersey.
“In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, these funds are more crucial than ever for our rebuilding process and the low and moderate income families desperately in need of housing,” said Green.