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Partners in Housing

      Looking for Opportunities:

                  Municipal Options for a Fair Share Plan

Municipalities need to be pro-active in planning for their affordable housing needs.  Some ways to meet housing needs and COAH requirements in ways that fit in with municipal plans in a non-invasive, cost-effective way are:

·       Review planning and zoning to see where small areas of increased density could accommodate affordable units that would fit right into existing neighborhoods (ex.: St. Luke’s Village in Peapack, providing eight units of senior rental housing).

·       Conduct an inventory of municipally-owned land to determine sites feasible for affordable housing sites, no matter how small.

·       Consider providing land or zoning for-sale duplexes or for a for-sale/for-rent duplex combination, which can be built on small undersized lots as scattered site infill.  (Note that the for-sale/for-rent combination would provide three COAH credits and no rental oversight for the municipality.)

Work to make sites available for the development of affordable housing through long-term lease, donation, or sale for a nominal fee (with long-term affordability constraints) to a non-profit.  (Legal statute 40A:12-21:  Private sales to certain organizations upon nominal consideration.)

Contact County Human Services for names of non-profits that may wish to develop affordable housing if land was made available.  Examples are SCARC group homes, Community Hope and NORWESCAP shared housing, which constitute extended family living and do not need a variance. (Jefferson Senior Housing and National Church Residences also are such a partnership.)

·       Sponsor applications to Small Cities for site acquisition (up to $100,000), soft costs and site improvements to develop affordable housing with a non-profit partner.

Implement the Development Fee Ordinance.  Your spending plan for these funds may be used for predevelopment costs, site acquisition, rehab and mortgage/down payment assistance.  A municipality may enact the ordinance for new commercial and/or residential development upon receiving substantive certification from COAH. 

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