As more detailed estimates become available of the housing requirements being imposed by the new affordable housing law enacted by the Democrat-controlled Legislature in June, Assemblymen John Amodeo and Vince Polistina today said it is increasingly apparent that South Jersey shore communities will be among those taking the biggest hit from the new law.
?As we analyze the numbers it is becoming clear that these affordable housing requirements are going to hit shore region communities particularly hard,? said Amodeo, R-Atlantic. ?Before this disastrous plan moves forward the Legislature needs to reconsider these regulations and determine what can be done to prevent the negative impact on the quality of life in this region.?
In June, Democrats in the Legislature approved an affordable housing ?reform? law that eliminated Regional Contribution Agreements (RCA?s) and a new round of regulations was recently issued creating a new formula for determining affordable housing obligations in each municipality.
Under the new law, when factoring-in prior obligations and housing rehabilitation shares, it is estimated Egg Harbor Township will be mandated to construct 2,033 new units and Galloway Township 1,224 units. Nearby Ocean City, a shore town that is completely developed would be required to construct 601 units of affordable housing by 2018.
?Many towns in the shore region are already fully developed and simply cannot accommodate the amount of affordable housing construction that is being mandated by this law,? said Polistina, R-Atlantic. ?Some of these towns are subject to CAFRA restrictions that are in direct conflict with the mandate for this new housing. Additionally there may be significant traffic impact as a result of new development in a region that already suffers from heavy traffic congestion, particularly in the summer months. Increasingly it appears the people who supported this law did not adequately consider its consequences.?
Amodeo and Polistina plan to introduce legislation to address the short comings of the new law and the address the larger issue of the state?s policy on affordable housing.
First, the assemblymen have also expressed concerns about a new 2.5 percent fee on all commercial development that was included in the new law. They have said the fee itself is a bad idea that should be repealed, but that to mitigate the unfair impact they will also introduce legislation to refund the fees paid by those who had their building permit in place before July 17th but had not received their certificate of occupancy.
Second, the assemblymen will sponsor an amendment to the state?s constitution to return the focus of this Court-determined municipal obligation to providing zoning opportunities for affordable housing, a reversal of the current regulations adopted by the Council on Affordable Housing which require that municipalities must provide for the construction of actual units of affordable housing for low and moderate-income New Jersey families.