Commissioner Doria Addresses Senate Economic Growth Committee
Provides testimony on COAH’s History and 2.5 Percent
Affordable Housing Fee

TRENTON – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Joseph Doria today testified before the Senate Economic Growth Committee regarding the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). Commissioner Doria provided details on the history of COAH and spoke about Governor Corzine’s call for a one-year moratorium on the 2.5 percent affordable housing fee.

“The need for a change has been recognized by Governor Corzine,” said Commissioner Doria. “Senator Lesniak and this committee have also recognized this need for change, especially given the difficult economic climate in the State of New Jersey.”

The 2.5 percent fee, which was part of legislation A500, was signed into law in July 2008. It created a uniform fee across the State of New Jersey for the collection of affordable housing fees upon the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for nonresidential development. Municipalities under COAH’s jurisdiction are allowed to keep the fee, while for municipalities not under COAH’s jurisdiction, the fee went directly to the state. All funds must be used for the production of affordable housing. Previously, municipalities under COAH’s jurisdiction were allowed to charge varying fees.

“I support the concept of a moratorium on this fee,” said Commissioner Doria. “It is important to keep in mind, however, that the devil is in the details. We need to review the various details as this concept goes through the legislative process to ensure it is done in the most effective manner possible.”