TRENTON – In his State of the State message today, Gov. Jon S. Corzine called for changes in New Jersey’s affordable housing laws that are embodied in legislation proposed by Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), chairman of the Senate Economic Growth Committee.
“The Governor’s embrace of this critical first step in fixing our affordable housing initiative sends the right message to the business community,” Lesniak said. “We are looking to the private sector to come as good-faith partners in helping with the state’s economic recovery.”
The Governor said because of the current economic crisis, he is asking for a moratorium on the Council on Affordable Housing’s 2.5 percent developer’s fee and an exemption on projects already in the pipeline before the fee was instituted.
Lesniak is the prime sponsor of a bill (S2485) that would address problems in the current COAH guidelines. He applauded the Governor’s call for a moratorium on the developer’s fee.
“It’s critical for our economic recovery,” Lesniak said. “The current COAH guidelines do not deliver on the promise of affordable housing. By his willingness to revisit the issue, Governor Corzine is doing more to advance affordable housing and essential economic development in New Jersey than what’s been done in the previous decade.”
Lesniak’s bill would impose an 18-month moratorium on the fee and exempt projects that received site approvals prior to July 17, 2008, the date the fee went into effect.
The revenue lost by not collecting the 2.5 percent fee on non-residential development would be replaced by a $15 million appropriation from the Long-Term Obligation and Capital Expenditure Fund, federal stimulus money and under-utilized state property that would be made available, where appropriate, for affordable housing development.