League of Municipalities, affordable housing advocates call for trust funds to stay with local governments

TRENTON – A coalition of mayors and affordable housing advocates today called on the state to leave some $161 million in affordable housing funds with the municipalities where the money currently resides.

The money is scheduled to be transferred to the state as part of the budget expected to be voted on later today.  The bills are S2011/A2950.

But Thursday, advocates were successful in lobbying for language in the budget that would allow local governments to commit the money through a municipal ordinance or resolution, effectively shielding it from transfer to the state.

The advocates also called for passage of legislation currently up in both houses that would extend the deadline to spend the money an additional two years.

The deadline to spend the money was set four years ago at July 17, 2012.

“Keeping housing trust funds in the municipalities they originated from has had widespread bipartisan support,” said Staci Berger, director of policy and advocacy for the Housing and Community Development Network. “We applaud the Senate and the Assembly for delivering a state budget to the governor that preserves these funds for their intended purpose, the creation of affordable homes New Jerseyans across the state want.”