Affordable housing funds deadline extension passed in Assembly

TRENTON – The Assembly passed the bill allowing municipalities another two years to commit their development fees toward affordable housing projects.

The bill, a2950,  passed by a 50-19 vote, with nine members abstaining. 

The bill would allow municipalities to hold on to some $161 million in affordable housing fees that are currently due ot be forfeited to the state’s general fund.  Four years ago, the state sety July 17 of this year as the deadline to spend the money or hand it over.

But local government officials and affordable housing advocates say the rules governing affordable housing have been murky at best so much of the money has gone unspent.  The budget already passed in the Senate and under consideration by the Assembly includes language allowing municipalities to commit  the funds through an ordinance or resolution, in effect shielding it from the state.

That language is unlikely to survive the governor’s veto pen, sources say.