TRENTON – The Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee released three bills today, including a bill to establish a homebuyer assistance program for police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers and public school teachers.
The bill, A1452, sponsored by Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, (D-15), Trenton, would offer down-payment assistance to encourage such buyers to purchase residential property in specially designated neighborhoods of eligible municipalities in which they are employed.
Down-payment assistance would be in the form of zero-percent interest-rate mortgage loans of $10,000. The bill would appropriate $5 million from the general fund to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency for the program.
The bill was released by a 4-2 vote.
Assembly Democrats Angelica Jimenez, (D-32), West New York; Annette Quijano, (D-20), Elizabeth; Mila Jasey, (D-27), South Orange; and Jerry Green, (D-22), Plainfield voted to move the bill, while Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll, (R-25), Morris Plains; and Assemblyman Robert Clifton, (R-12), Millstone, voted against the bill.
A2737, sponsored by Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, (D-19), Woodbridge, was released by an identical 4-2 vote.
The bill clarifies that local rent control provisions apply to multiple dwellings that reserve units for senior citizens and revises the definition of the term “senior citizen” to reduce the minimum age requirement from 62 to 55 years of age.
“[A2737] defines senior citizen as being 55 or older and addresses an exemption which exists under prior law which provided for an exclusion from the rent control laws established in the municipality for new construction,” Coughlin said.
Carroll, citing concerns about expanding rent control, called the bill “a sure fire recipe to assure there will be no new construction.”
Various homebuilder organizations opposed the legislation, as it would not exempt new construction from certain rent control restrictions.
The committee unanimously released A2741, sponsored by John Burzichelli, (D-3), Paulsboro, which provides that subcontractors who furnish non-specialty trade work shall not be named in local public bid documents. The bill does not apply to state government contracts.
The bill states that when a municipality requests bids for the construction of a building, the bid documents only need to name the subcontractors that will work on plumbing and gas fitting work, refrigeration, steam and hot
A1250, which would authorize a municipal governing body to require the municipal clerk to create and maintain a list of residents who identify themselves as being in need of special assistance in the event of an emergency, for public safety purposes, was held at the request of Coughlin, the sponsor.