NJAA Asks Governor to Hold Firm on Housing Trust Fund Deadline

In a letter to Gov. Christopher J. Christie on June 7, the NJAA implored the Governor to stand-firm in the face of mounting pressure to extend the statutory deadline for municipalities to commit to spend millions of dollars in municipal affordable housing trust funds.

The letter reads: "Under PL 2008, C. 46, still commonly referred to by its bill number, A-500, municipalities were given four years to commit to spend accumulated housing trust fund dollars for new affordable housing development within their borders. The creation of a time-specific deadline for trust funds to be spent was a crucial component of A-500 (Roberts/Watson Coleman/Green) and was a policy priority for dozens of housing advocacy groups who feared that, without a fixed statutory deadline, municipalities would continue to resist spending these funds on new affordable housing. The deadline established under A-500 is fast approaching and dozens of municipalities are now clamoring for more time. This is inexcusable. The NJAA would respectfully request that you not offer any extensions and continue to adhere to this statutory deadline; New Jersey should not reward municipalities that have ignored their obligations as stewards of these funds that were paid by housing developers for the purpose of affordable housing construction. Inaction by many municipalities shows a clear penchant for resisting efforts to spending trust fund dollars. Without a hard-and-fast statutory deadline hanging over their heads, we expect many municipalities will simply wait another two years and then clamor again for yet another extension."

Additionally, the NJAA asked the Governor to expedite approval of any municipal spending plans before his administration, and ensure that any dollars collected by the State be devoted exclusively to housing programs.

Click here for a full copy of the NJAA letter.