Important Affordable Housing Update for Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem Counties

The Courts now have competing affordable housing obligation numbers for Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem Counties (“Region 6”).  It will be up to the Court to decide next year but the potential requirements will have a tremendous impact on virtually every municipality. 

Since the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in March 2015 that stripped the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) of its administrative oversight over municipal compliance with Mount Laurel affordable housing obligations, Courts throughout the State have been dealing with competing claims by municipalities, developers, and the Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC) as to what each municipality’s affordable housing obligation is.  

On August 17, 2017, Richard B. Reading, the Regional Court appointed  Master issued his report for Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem Counties .  The report sets forth the affordable housing requirements recommended by the Regional Court Master, Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC) and the municipal consultant, Econsult Solutions, Inc. (“Econsult”).  ,

You can review the entire Appendix II-A (as amended on August 29, 2017) showing the numbers for all four counties in the "Appendix 11-A" PDF link above. 

You can also review the entire Regional Court Master’s Report in the "Regional Court Master's Report" PDF link above.  

What this means for municipalities, property owners and developers:

In the next months, Judge Nelson Johnson will conduct a trial to determine each municipality’s affordable housing obligation for Region 6.  In the next year similar trials will be held throughout the State. 

Accordingly, developers and large property owners should identify potential parcels that are available and suitable for residential housing or mixed use developments with an inclusionary component, and to make formal written requests to municipal representatives to be included in the planning and rezoning process.  However, time is of the essence.  Most municipalities are (or should) be looking for or finalizing opportunities for potential affordable housing sites.

For more information on the evolving status of New Jersey affordable housing, and options and remedies available to developers, please feel free to contact Tracy Siebold at 609-927-1177.  Tracy filed an amicus brief with the New Jersey Supreme Court in the recent case on behalf of special needs and supportive housing providers and is currently representing a number of developers throughout the State with regard to affordable housing issues and Builder’s Remedy Lawsuits.