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Lesniak Statement On Affordable Housing Bill Approval

Bill Would Create Long-Term Plan for Affordable Housing Gains

TRENTON – Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, the prime sponsor of S-1, legislation to replace the failed Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) with common sense, achievable affordable housing regulations, issued the following remarks on the floor in support of the bill, which was approved in the Senate today by a vote of 21-16:

“The amendments concurring in S-1 as released by the Assembly will establish for the first time in 30 years, when passed by Assembly later today and signed into law by Governor Christie, a system of compliance with Mount Laurel that will result in more affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families, without the enormous costs imposed by COAH and without its disincentives which resulted in a loss of jobs and a loss of affordable housing opportunities.

“S-1 establishes a high standard of affordable housing for our municipalities, but gives them the planning tools to meet that standard in an orderly fashion without the top-down, bureaucratic, municipality-by-municipality, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, block-by-block, house-by-house, micromanagement experienced under COAH.

“S-1 also establishes a higher standard of validity of compliance by the municipalities in order to avoid the burdensome and confusing result of numerous lawsuits filed by developers and their allies which also impeded economic development and economic opportunity along with opportunities for affordable housing.”

The bill now heads to the Assembly to concur with Senate amendments before going to the Governor to be signed into law.

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