DCA announces proposed rule changes aimed at combating homelessness

TRENTON – The state is proposing rules changes it says will help battle homelessness.

Proposed changes would provide incentives to developers to include units for homeless families in new projects and increase construction of affordable units in high-achieving school districts, according to state agencies.

The housing policies were announced Monday by the Department of Community Affairs and the state’s Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. The state’s Qualified Allocation Plan outlines New Jersey’s low-income housing tax credits.

The proposed changes would also discourage the concentration of poverty in any one area by limiting the number of low- and moderate-income units in communities where there are already a high number of affordable housing units, in addition to directing 40 percent of all awards to targeted urban areas to guarantee urban project development, the DCA said Monday.

“My administration is committed to expanding housing options for our most vulnerable citizens as part of our long-term, comprehensive plan to combat homelessness,” Gov. Chris Christie said in a statement.

“I’m particularly pleased that the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency has been able to identify and implement changes that will address the issue of chronic homelessness and provide incentives to build mixed income housing developments,” he said.

The DCA announced the proposed rule changes following a Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency special meeting Monday.

The state allocates about $18 million annually in low-income tax credits.