Why do we have a pressing need to build affordable housing?
Two reasons. First, the New Jersey Supreme Court's Mt. Laurel decisions in 1975 and 1983 established that municipalities have a constitutional obligation to provide real housing opportunities for low and moderate income households, and that towns cannot enact exclusionary zoning that prevents affordable housing from being built. The Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) was created in 1985 to help towns meet this constitutional obligation. As a state agency, COAH develops formulas for determining what a municipality's "fair share" of affordable housing will be, and if a municipality complies with COAH rules, it is immune from lawsuits from developers who claim that the town has not meet its affordable housing obligation.

Second, since 1985, COAH has enacted three separate sets of fair share calculations for each of three separate rounds of review. The most recent, known as the "Round Three" rules, were adopted in June, 2008. However, COAH's third round actually began in January, 2004. The town's fair share obligation that accumulated from 2004 until this year, when the new rules were finally adopted, must be filled within two years of COAH certifying the township's affordable housing plan. As a result, Hopewell must plan to meet this "retroactive" need immediately.

Show All Answers

1. Why purchase Pennytown?
2. Are we paying fair market value for the property?
3. Why is the property available now?
4. What is the development potential of the property?
5. What is unique about having sewers at the property?
6. Why do we have a pressing need to build affordable housing?
7. Who qualifies for affordable housing?
8. What is our affordable housing requirement?
9. What is the deadline for meeting our Round Three requirements?
10. What happens if we fail to meet our affordable housing requirement?
11. Is a developer's remedy lawsuit realistic in this economy?
12. How would development at the Pennytown site affect firefighting in the area?
13. How would development at Pennytown affect wells in the area?
14. How would development at Pennytown affect traffic in the area?
15. How is the township protected against environmental damage at the site?
16. Who would demolish the existing buildings, and when?
17. What is the timeline for development of the site?
18. Pennytown is isolated and located on a state highway. Is this a reasonable location for affordable housing?
19. What would the houses look like?
20. Will the houses be sale or rental units?
21. How will the township pay for the property?