The New Jersey State League of Municipalities today filed a brief as amicus curiae in an emergent motion to prevent the state from seizing up to $200 million in money municipalities had set aside to provide affordable housing.
The state could take the money as early as July 17.
Municipalities are permitted to impose and collect fees from developers of residential property. Those fees are deposited into an affordable housing trust fund. A municipality must commit to spend those funds by July 17, or the state has threatened to seize them. However, the State has consistently refused to define “commit to spend,” leaving municipalities in the dark as to what is expected of them.
“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. “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.”
The motion, originally filed by Fair Share Housing Center, seeks to prohibit the state from taking any affordable housing trust funds, and asks the court to order the State to define what a municipality must to do protect their funds. The Appellate Division will hear oral arguments on Friday, July 13 2012 at 10:00am in Newark.