League of Municipalities backs Fair Share Housing in battle for affordable housing funds

TRENTON – The N.J. League of Municipalities, which has been fighting for towns to be able to hold on to their affordable housing dollars, is weighing in in support of a legal action filed in the matter by another agency.

The league said today it has filed a brief in a case brought by the Fair Share Housing Center, which went to court to keep the state from seizing affordable housing trust funds.

At stake is as much as $200 million that municipalities had set aside for affordable housing. The league said the state could seize the money as early as July 17.

The Legislature passed a bill extending the time towns had to use the funds, but Gov. Chris Christie vetoed it.

“It is patently unfair to take this money from towns without first giving them the rules of the game,” said league Executive Director Bill Dressel in a release.  “Towns have asked the state time and again what they need to do to protect these funds that are dedicated to affordable housing.  The state has consistently refused to tell them.”

Towns assess fees on developers, which are placed in an affordable housing trust fund. Fair Share Housing Center has asked the court to require the state to inform towns what they must do to protect the funds.

The Appellate Division will hear oral arguments on Fair Share Housing’s case on Friday, July 13, at 10 a.m. in Newark.

League of Municipalities backs Fair Share Housing in battle for affordable housing funds