September-15-2011 Christie Administration Announces End to Affordable Housing Nightmare
Christie Administration Announces End to
Affordable Housing Nightmare
New Reforms Abolish COAH, Transfer Duties to
TRENTON, NJ –Delivering on its promise to achieve real affordable housing reform, the Christie Administration today announced that the reorganization plan to abolish the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) has been completed. As a result, affordable housing responsibilities are now transferred to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
On June 29, 2011, Governor Christie issued Reorganization Plan, No. 001-2011, which eliminated the 12-member Council on Affordable Housing effective August 29, 2011. Recognizing that the DCA is already responsible for providing assistance to local municipalities, the oversight of local governments, and which currently operates numerous affordable housing programs, the Governor consolidated and transferred all duties of COAH to the Commissioner of DCA.
'The goal of this reorganization plan is to put an end to this hopelessly complex and outdated system – and provide affordable housing opportunities to our most deserving residents. The Governor's plan addresses the needs of both the providers and beneficiaries of affordable housing in New Jersey by organizing all programs within a single regulatory body," said DCA Commissioner Lori Grifa. "By consolidating the authority for housing within the Department of Community Affairs, we will not only reduce bureaucracy in the system, but foster greater predictability for all players in the affordable housing arena."
The move also implements recommendations of the Red Tape Review Group created by Executive Order No. 3, reducing costs and promoting more efficient operations of the burdensome regulatory agency. The elimination of COAH is also consistent with the recommendations of the Housing Opportunity Task Force created by Executive Order No.12.
"The Governor and I believe every person in New Jersey is entitled to a safe and decent place to live, but that housing and land use decisions should be made locally. The transfer of the functions of COAH to the DCA will enable that; and, we believe, will reduce the bureaucratic log-jam and frustration that has chilled housing development for the last few years," added Commissioner Grifa. "The Department of Community Affairs will work with municipalities on affordable housing, not against them."
The State of New Jersey is committed to the creation of housing affordable for low and moderate income residents of New Jersey and through the Department of Community Affairs will continue to implement the Fair Housing Act and the powers and duties of COAH through Local Planning Services, which will provide assistance to municipalities and developers of affordable housing and Fair Housing Act administration.
For more information on affordable housing, log on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/services/lps/hss on the DCA website.