Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The courts stopped a request from the state last week, which gave towns until July 17 to spend or account for money raised by their affordable housing trust funds.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Courts ruled last Friday morning that Gov. Chris Christie does not have the authority to empty the trust funds of municipalities participating in the Council on Affordable Housing Program. According to the Mayor's of both Chester Township and Chester Borough, the ruling would not have an impact. "We have taken care of our funds," said Chester Township Mayor Bill Cogger. "There will be no finds for the state to take." Over in Chester Borough, Mayor Bob Davis is not altering anything based on the state ruling. "Chester Borough is not changing its course because the ruling is a temporary condition," Davis said. "At this time, Chester Borough is waiting on COAH to approve the Boro spending plan before we move forward with implementing the …
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Appellate judges rule only the Council on Affordable Housing can force municipalities to give their local funds to the state.
New Jersey municipalities' affordable housing funds are safe. For now. Late Friday, the Appellate Division of Superior Court issued an order preventing the state from taking $142 million in local trust fund dollars. The move seemed a bit contradictory, given the court—different judges—had refused to put out a similar injunction last month. But Friday's ruling came as part of a different, yet connected, case. Warning: This gets really complicated and convoluted. A majority of the judges agreed Friday with an argument made by the Fair Share Housing Center that only the Council on Affordable Housing can order towns to give the state the money they have been collecting in development fees, some for decades. This is because in a March 8 order, …
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Housing advocate and municipalities try to prevent the state from taking their funds.
The battle between the Christie administration and the Fair Share Housing Center continues. This time, the two sides are going to court Friday over as much as $200 million in local affordable housing trust funds. So far, the Appellate Division of Superior Court has been kind to the Cherry Hill-based housing advocates, but this case could be a different story. To help balance the budget, Gov. Chris Christie recommended the state use the trust fund money. The administration appears to be within its legal right to do so, as the law creating the funds—and the developer fees that municipalities levy to subsidize them—specified municipalities had to “commit to spend” the money within four years. The clock strikes midnight on July 17. But as …
Monday, July 2, 2012
Old Borough Hall property to be included in affordable housing development pending COAH approval.
Once thought to be ruled out as an option for affordable housing, Chester Borough has welcomed the property at 300 Main St. back into its plans to move toward its COAH affordable housing requirements. The Chester Borough Council agreed on Tuesday night in a series of motions to designate part of its nearly $1 million in affordable housing funds to the eventual construction of a housing development on an acre of the two-acre property by Homeless Solutions, Inc. The development at 300 Main St. is expected to contain a total of eight affordable housing units, with four more designated for very low income residents still scheduled to go on the property at 235 U.S. 206. With the borough’s July 17deadline to allocate affordable housing funds …
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
With nearly a million dollars on the line, and with time running out, 300 Main St.is back on the table.
The Chester Borough Council is rethinking its previous decisions regarding affordable housing in the borough. This development comes following the discovery that one of the properties decided upon for affordable housing at the council’s May 15 meeting, located at 275 Main St., is currently ineligible for affordable housing development. “The (property owner) we were talking to doesn’t own the property,” said Borough Attorney Brian Mason. “It’s a short sale; the person has a bid in, but does not have a contract and may never have a contract to purchase that property.” Mason indicated that inquiries were also made as to other properties owned by the same individual, but stated that they are to be ruled out due to various violations. “…
Thursday, May 17, 2012
300 Main Street, the site of the old Municipal Building, misses the cut as the mayor and council attempt to reach the June 30 deadline.
With almost a million dollars hanging in the balance, Chester Borough Mayor Bob Davis vowed back in January that the borough would not miss the June 30 deadline. At the May 16 meeting of the mayor and council, Davis and the council came one step closer after a long discussion on the impending, COAH-imposed construction of affordable housing units in the borough that resulted in the council voting to move forward on eleven potential housing units on three separate properties within the borough’s limits. The motion passed by a 4-1 margin and includes the further exploration of the construction of a combination of 11 affordable housing units on properties located at 275 Main St., 235 U.S. 206 and 310 U.S. 206. After months of studies by a …
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Mayor and Council have until June 30 to make the Fair Share Housing deadline.
June 30 may seem like a long way off, but it is better safe than sorry as Chester Borough risks losing over $800,000 collected from developers if they miss the state's Fair Share Housing deadline. Officials tasked David Banisch Associates to provide them with options for how to get in compliance. Mayor Robert Davis vowed that the town would not miss the deadline. “Approximately $835,000 is at stake. If we don’t establish a plan to provide low-income housing by the deadline, the state could claim the funds,” Davis said. Out of the Fair Share Housing Act, the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) was established to assess the need for affordable housing throughout the state and determine the need for affordable housing on the municipal level…