Recently, there has been a lot of building of homes in New Jersey, but one state politician is ready to put a stop to it.
NorthJersey.com said that state Sen. Anthony Bucco proposed a bill that would delay the start of state housing requirements. The Morris County Republican is worried about how cities and towns are changing and whether or not they can handle the new housing.
The main problem comes from a decision made by the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1975. The court said that cities and towns had to provide a “fair share” of affordable housing. In 2015, the state Supreme Court said that most cities and towns weren’t keeping their promises.
With that ruling, a state government body could no longer enforce the doctrine. Instead, it was up to the judges, who were told to favor any proposal from a developer that included affordable housing.
This led to a process where cities and towns would come to agreements to make plans that a judge would approve. It was in the best interest of cities and towns to do this, because if they didn’t, a judge could just approve even bigger projects on their own.
The state is in the middle of what is called its “third round” of Supreme Court doctrine requirements. With Bucco’s plan, the “fourth round” would not happen until 2028 instead of 2025.
“By putting off the fourth round of affordable housing obligations, we can give taxpayers and cities some much-needed relief while also making sure we have the information and resources we need to make smart decisions about future affordable housing policies,” said the Senate Republican whip.
Some local officials back Bucco’s push because they are too busy to do anything else. Advocates for housing, like the Fair Share Housing Center in New Jersey, have come out against the plan, saying it is a way to limit low-income tenants.
A spokesperson for the Fair Share Housing Center said, “Senator Bucco is making up a problem with the current system that just doesn’t exist.”
The spokesperson also said that only two of the more than 340 towns that filed fair-share plans in 2015 have not decided how many units to build.