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Says Committee Committed to Blowing Up COAH, but Will Do It Right

(TRENTON) – Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Union/Middlesex/Somerset), chairman of the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee, released the following statement on Wednesday:

“New Jersey has spent the last four decades wrestling with ways to ensure affordable housing is accessible to all, no matter where they live, while balancing the need to control development and property taxes and promote economic growth.

“This is, to say the very least, an extremely complicated issue that is not easily resolved. We have passed numerous affordable housing reform over the years, yet still we struggle mightily to find answers to this problem.

“I commend Sen. Lesniak and others who have worked tirelessly to devise the latest reforms, but the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee is not going to rush through legislation just to do something different.

“We are committed to blowing up COAH. We will rid the state of the bureaucratic tangle it has created and implement a new law that will ensure housing is truly affordable across our state.

“But we will do this right, with input from everyone. I don’t want to be back here next year debating yet another affordable housing bill. I don’t want an endless court fight. I want a system that works, and if that means taking time to do it right, then that’s what we’re going to do.

“With that in mind, the committee will not be moving legislation during Thursday’s hearing. We will discuss the bill and all our options, and I an assure everyone that their opinions will be welcomed and heard. But we will not rush this bill. We will do this responsibly.

“We will by month’s end pass legislation extending the moratorium on the 2.5 development fee, thus protecting businesses still struggling through the recession.

“This is an issue that’s easy to demagogue, but my priority is advancing legislation that is understood by everyone, is constitutional and will truly, once and for all, fix our affordable housing laws for the benefit of everyone.”

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