Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Letter to Speaker of the Assembly-Elect on Affordable Housing

Dear Assembly Speaker Elect Coughlin,

We are at a critical juncture in this state with how we decide to appropriately handle the need for individuals to have affordable housing options and the reality of what townships & municipalities can sustain with new development.  This affects our school systems, public resources, environment and more.  This also greatly influences the quality of life of our residents, both those in need of affordable housing options and those who can afford more.

In Denville, we have always worked hard to incorporate affordable housing options within our main township structure so all residents have equal access to the great resources, accommodations and benefits of our town.

Due to the legislatures inaction, the issue now resides very much in the court system.  This is a failure of the legislature and as Speaker of the House I urge you to bring forth a variety of bills that can be discussed by the Assembly.  All options should be discussed, debated and a potentially resolved.  To not entertain theses bills is a failure of government.  Please allow for the bills listed below to come before the Assembly for discussion & vote.  Anything less is clouding government’s transparency. Leaving the matter within the court system prevents Townships from openly discussing many legal matters to to litigation risk.  Listed:

    A4667 Establishes "Affordable Housing Obligation Study Commission; 

  S3081 Establishes "Affordable Housing Obligation Study Commission; 
  A5025 Requires COAH to administer affordable housing obligations of municipalities based on statewide obligation; 

  A5027 Requires COAH to calculate affordable housing obligations on Statewide basis;

  A5028 Establishes additional factors for municipal adjustment used in calculating fair share affordable housing obligations; provides population-based cap for these obligations; 

  A5029 Prohibits affordable housing obligation exemptions for urban aid municipalities; 

  ACR249 Proposes amendment to New Jersey Constitution to prohibit exclusionary zoning and clarify municipal obligations regarding affordable housing construction;

  ACR250 Proposes constitutional amendment to require State-wide calculation of affordable housing obligation. 

Thank You,
Councilman Gene Fitzpatrick, Denville NJ