NJ Housing and Community Development Network Statement on Proposed Changes to Municipal Fair Share Process


Following the announcement by New Jersey Senate President Nicholas Scutari (LD-22), Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19), Senate Community and Urban Affairs Chair Troy Singleton (D-7) and Assembly Housing Committee Chair Yvonne Lopez (D-19) regarding proposed changes to the municipal fair share process, the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ (the Network) and its members welcome the opportunity to provide careful feedback and to weigh in as the legislation advances. On the proposal, Network President and CEO Staci Berger issued the following statement:

“Through the Mount Laurel doctrine, New Jersey has the strongest commitment to ensuring that all of NJ’s residents have the opportunity to live in safe, affordable homes in the community of their choice. The principles in the Mount Laurel doctrine must be preserved, and used to overcome hundreds of years of systemic and institutional racism that has resulted in one of the largest racial wealth gaps, driven by housing inequities, in our nation. We are hopeful that this proposal builds on our state’s strong foundation of ensuring and enforcing Mount Laurel and makes permanent the best elements of the current process, when state courts declared the Council on Affordable Housing ‘moribund’ and took over the process itself.

“The current court process is delivering on the promise of affordability in communities around the state. We applaud efforts to codify the fair share housing obligation methodologies based on the Jacobson decision, and to institute an affordable housing framework that includes all parties, including non-profit developers who have been at the forefront of this mission-driven work, in NJ for years to come.

“Our member organizations, partners and allies look forward to reviewing the legislation being introduced in both houses and respectfully request that Legislative leadership and sponsors allow all stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback and ideas. We are deeply concerned about considering this initiative during the holiday season, when many of our members are already extremely busy providing services to their communities, and during the waning days of the lame duck legislative session. We urge the Legislature and Gov. Murphy to move carefully and deliberately and to collect feedback from the folks who are building affordable homes to HouseNJ.”

About the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ
The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey is the statewide association of more than 270 community development corporations, individuals and other organizations that support the creation of affordable homes, economic opportunities, and strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit www.hcdnnj.org.