More than 250 New Jersey municipalities have finalized with the courts and housing advocates plans that detail how many affordable homes they are allotting within their borders and where these units could be built.
Not all the proposed developments will happen. Towns are not obligated to build all the housing; they simply need to allow for its construction. (And there’s no state agency overseeing the process.)
This year, for the first time in more than a decade, a New Jersey governor has proposed depositing the full amount of realty transfer fees received — about $60 million — into the state Affordable Housing Trust Fund in recognition of the need for more affordable housing.
At an NJ Spotlight roundtable, held in Hamilton on May 31, experts looked at the history of the affordable housing issue in New Jersey — from the Mount Laurel decisions to the current court process — and addressed the key questions:
Where we are today regarding the state’s need for more affordable homes?
How many more municipalities need to draft plans? How many units are planned?
How many homes are likely to be built? Where and when? Who’s going to pay for them?
What are the prospects of the state retaking control of the process?
Peter Reinhart, Director, Kislak Real Estate Institute,
Christiana Foglio, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Community
DeAnna Minus-Vincent, MPA, Assistant Vice-President, Social Impact &
Community Investment, RWJBarnabas Health
John Restrepo, Chairman of the Board, Housing and Community Development Network of NJ; Director, Division of Housing and Community Development,
Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation (GSECDC)
Assemblywoman Holly T. Schepisi, Assistant Republican Leader, Member Joint Committee on Housing Affordability, Member Joint Committee on Economic
Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity, Member Housing and Community Development Committee
Kevin Walsh, Executive Director, Fair Share Housing Center
Colleen O’Dea, Editor at Large, NJ Spotlight