Christie proposes changing N.J. affordable housing rules

    Governor Christie says the state’s fair housing act, which was passed 25 years ago, does not work.

    Governor Christie is proposing changes in affordable housing requirements in New Jersey.

    Governor Christie says the state’s fair housing act, which was passed 25 years ago, does not work.

    Instead of having state-controlled mandates on the amount of affordable housing in a community, Christie is proposing that municipalities make their own determination about their affordable housing needs.

    “This is about getting Trenton the hell out of the business of telling people how many units they’re suppose to have,” says Christie, “some arbitrary ridiculous formula that nobody could ever explain. We need to lift that wet blanket off of the municipalities and put the people who were elected back in control of making these decisions.”

    Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Lori Griffa says municipalities would get greater control in determining their own affordable housing needs.

    “In the past, Trenton dictated,” says Griffa. “In the future, towns will self assess and report. This not only creates an opportunity for a more holistic and organic evaluation of what a sound housing policy should be on a local level, but, more importantly, it gives a fair and rational opportunity to evaluate what reevaluation opportunities are available.”

    The Governor’s proposal calls for a 10 percent affordable housing unit requirement in new development projects greater than 10 units.

    It would require a payment to a municipal housing trust fund for projects between 2 and 10 units.

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