TRENTON – The state Department of Community Affairs, which is in charge of administering affordable housing funds, said the decision by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court to prohibit the state from taking over unused municipal affordable housing trust funds is unfortunate, saying that towns should not be able to sit on funds they collected for an unspecified amount of time.
“New Jersey municipalities that have failed to comply with the Fair Housing Act should not be permitted to retain municipal housing trust fund dollars indefinitely while doing nothing to create housing needed by low- and moderate-income households,” DCA spokesperson Lisa Ryan said.
Ryan challenged the assertion by groups like the League of Municipalities that the state is trying to seize money. Rather, she said the takeover of funds was justified by a law the Legislature passed in 2008, enabling it to take control of unused funds so the state could utilize them for the creation of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families, veterans and persons with disabilities.
“Unfortunately, the temporary injunction issued yesterday enables municipalities to refuse to comply with the statute and to avoid providing affordable housing for their residents. We are confident the Court will ultimately rule that COAH’s May 1 actions were appropriate.”