Guidelines for the Regional Affordable Housing Development Program (a new opportunity permitted by amendments to the Fair Housing Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-329.9) were adopted on September 9, 2009 by COAH.

On July 17, 2008, Governor Corzine signed a comprehensive affordable housing reform bill into law, P.L.2008, c.46, which included amendments to the Fair Housing Act. A-500, sponsored by Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts, Jr., was passed by the Assembly on June 16, 2008. S-1783, sponsored by Senator Raymond J. Lesniak and subsequently substituted by A-500, was passed by the Senate on June 23, 2008.

Major components of the law include the following:
  • Establishment of a statewide 2.5% non-residential development fee
  • Establishment of a new $20M fund to create or rehabilitate housing for families earning income equal to or less than 120% of regional median income
  • Elimination of Regional Contribution Agreements
  • Provision for planning for affordable housing opportunities based on infrastructure and transportation within 5 regions regulated by planning entities (Highlands, Meadowlands, Pinelands, Fort Monmouth, and Atlantic County)
  • Requirement for 13% of a municipal fair share obligation, and 13% of all units funded by Balanced Housing and the statewide Affordable Housing Trust Fund, to be restricted to very-low income households (30% or less of median income)
  • Establishment of a State Housing Commission