Apr-08-09 Lawrence & Pine Hill Receive COAH Certification
Lawrence & Pine Hill Receive COAH Certification
TRENTON - Lawrence Township (Mercer County) and Pine Hill today became the first municipalities to receive substantive certification under the Council on Affordable Housing's (COAH) revised third round rules. The action came during today's COAH Board meeting.
"Over 350 municipalities, a record number, have signaled their intent to participate in the COAH process," said Department of Community Affairs Commissioner and COAH Board Chairman Joseph Doria. "Lawrence and Pine Hill are the first of what will be many municipalities that receive certification. I want to commend them both for taking this great step forward in providing their fair share of affordable housing for their constituents."
Substantive certification is COAH's determination that a municipal fair share plan presents a realistic opportunity for the production of affordable housing to address the town's portion of the affordable housing need. The substantive certifications granted to Lawrence Township and Pine Hill are valid until December 30, 2018.
Additionally, the Board today adopted new income limits for New Jersey's six housing regions. The limits are based on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) Section 8 income limits for the state's six housing regions, which are defined by COAH. They can be viewed by logging on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/affiliates/coah/reports/incomelimits.pdf.
Income limits are used to determine the eligibility of low and moderate-income households, to price new sales and rental units, and to index the maximum resale price of existing sales units. While income limits vary across housing regions, they are also adjusted for family size. Low-income households are defined as earning 50 percent or less of the median gross household income for households of the same size within the same housing region. Moderate-income households are defined as earning between 50 and 80 percent of the median gross household income for households of the same size within the same housing region. COAH also calculates the income limits for very low income households earning 30 percent or less of median gross household income, as affordable housing available to this segment of the population is required by the Fair Housing Act and these households are eligible for financial assistance under the development fee regulations in COAH's third round rules.
Affordable rents can be raised a maximum of 3.3 percent, according to the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI). However, as with market housing, developers, landlords and owners may ask for less than the maximum permitted prices in order to sell or rent units. On average, affordable sales prices can be raised 4.24 percent, but the exact percentage varies by housing region.
COAH, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, facilitates the production of sound, affordable housing for low and moderate income households by providing the most effective process to municipalities, housing providers, nonprofit and for profit developers to address a constitutional obligation within the framework of sound, comprehensive planning.