In the wake of the Council on Affordable Housing?s refusal to suspend the December 31st deadline for towns to submit affordable housing plans, Assemblymen Vince Polistina and John Amodeo will introduce legislation Monday to suspend the new COAH regulations during the current economic downturn.
?This new housing mandate will drive up property taxes, destroy open space and discourage economic development,? said Polistina R-Atlantic. ?Our legislation will put the brakes on this plan and give us an opportunity to come up with a better long-term approach to dealing with the affordable housing issue in New Jersey.?
The new Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) regulations require towns to submit affordable housing plans by the end of this year. On Monday, Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts asked that COAH delay that deadline by up to 90 days, but the council refused to comply with that request.
?As currently structured these new COAH regulations are an unfunded mandate on local communities,? said Amodeo, R-Atlantic. ?At a time when property taxes are already unaffordable for many families, and state aid to towns has been slashed, we cannot afford to put this additional burden on these communities.?
The Polistina-Amodeo bill would address the numerous problems with the new affordable housing plan. Under their bill the COAH calculations of affordable housing obligations would be only advisory for municipalities ? not mandatory. Towns would be deemed to have temporary substantive certification from the council and the proposed 2.5 percent commercial development fee would be suspended.
This suspension of the law would remain in effect until the New Jersey Real Estate Commission certifies that the level of existing single family home sales in the state exceeds the level reported in 2006. During that time, Amodeo and Polistina said the state should reconsider its entire approach to the affordable housing issue.