TRENTON – Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, D-Union, the Chairman of the Senate Economic Growth Committee and prime sponsor of S-1, legislation to abolish the failed Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) in favor of a fairer, market-driven model to create inclusionary zoning in New Jersey’s municipalities, issued the following statement after the Committee met today for the second time to discuss his legislation:
“Today’s hearing was productive, and will ultimately help us refine our legislation, which will lead to a better system to provide for our State’s affordable housing needs.
“S-1 would abolish COAH because the agency has failed to produce affordable housing in New Jersey. It replaces the failed COAH model with a market-driven approach that will establish a definition of inclusionary that considers the amount of low- and moderate-income housing in a municipality. Municipalities that do not meet that definition of inclusion would have to adopt an ordinance establishing a 20 percent set-aside of all housing development for low-income and moderate-income families and working-class New Jerseyans.
“This bill is intended to break the logjam of development at all levels in New Jersey. Whether it’s commercial, industrial or residential development, these projects aren’t taking place, and the jobs and economic activity they would be generating is being blocked by top-down, irrational COAH mandates. Affordable housing units are being mandated by COAH, but never built.
“It’s time that we create a better way. S-1, in concert with an affordable housing policy to be introduced at a later date, would create real housing opportunities for residents in need. It would allow for job creation and economic growth in our State’s construction and development trades.”