TRENTON – Saying he will “take the best” of the Senate’s, the Assembly’s and the Governor’s ideas, Senator Raymond Lesniak announced today he has withdrawn the legislation he sponsored to abolish COAH which Governor Christie conditionally vetoed, S-1, and will introduce a new bill that will inject rationality into New Jersey’s affordable housing laws.
“It’s not just about compromise for the sake of compromise,” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “It’s about forging a compromise that creates good public policy. That’s what the people of the State of New Jersey want us to do, so we should just do it.”
Senator Lesniak explained that all three versions of affordable housing reform have positive and negative aspects. With the new legislation introduced he hopes to find common ground between all parties interested in rational affordable housing reform in New Jersey.
“Rather than continue to beat our heads against a wall and beat our chests proclaiming our way is the only way, this new bill will meet everyone’s goals except those who want to keep COAH in place,” said Senator Lesniak. “It’s become apparent that COAH has failed, but there are still some who will try to sabotage any attempt to change its convoluted, top-down, micromanagement of housing policy that has produced insufficient affordable housing and stifled job creation and economic growth. It’s time to move beyond the policy relics of the past, and focus on creating affordable housing, jobs and economic opportunities for New Jersey’s future.”
The bill will likely be referred to the Senate Economic Growth Committee for consideration, which Senator Lesniak chairs.