Thursday, June 10, 2010


The New Jersey State League of Municipalities is commending the State Senate for the passage of S-1, which reforms the Fair Housing Act. In particular, the League is thanking the sponsors, Senators Ray Lesniak, Kip Bateman and Jeff Van Drew, for their efforts in addressing reforms to the Fair Housing Act.

Municipalities have long called for reform to the Fair Housing Act, and believe the promulgation of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) July 2008 regulations further demonstrated the need for reform. According to League officials COAH’s regulations contained significant errors in its vacant land analysis; substantial errors in their projection of growth and allocation of its growth to municipalities; artificially inflated the Statewide needs; and lacked sufficient compliance mechanisms and funding.

Critics claim the current bill has an A-Rod loophole. A-Rod is the nickname given to New York Yankees’ 3rd baseman Alex Rodriquez. Opponents of the COAH legislation say that as drafted, if a town is already made up of 1/3 apartments or townhouses, that town does not have to build affordable housing. The Department of Community Affairs MAY take into account a town’s wealth and the appraised value of the apartments or townhouses but the DCA does NOT have to take wealth into account.

Here’s where A-Rod fits in…..His luxury townhouse in Hoboken could be partly responsible for getting Hoboken out from under its COAH obligation. BTW, former Governor Jon Corzine also has a luxury apartment in Hoboken.

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