Center and League of Municipalities Hope to Prevent Seizure of $160M
The Fair Share Housing Center has filed motions with the Appellate Division in which it is seeking an injunction against the state to prohibit it from seizing the up to $200 million in municipal housing trust fund dollars.
Last week, Governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have given towns two more years to spend money to create affordable housing. Officials from the state’s Department of Community Affairs maintain that the money will still be used for various housing programs.
The New Jersey League of Municipalities supports the Fair Share Housing Center’s motion and requested that if the court is to consider the appeal that the league be allowed to intervene in the matter. This week, the league was granted amicus status.
The League filed its brief on Friday, July 7, 2012. Oral arguments will be heard on Friday, July 13 at the Appellate Division in Newark. The league reports that the court intends to dispose of the matter before the Tuesday, July 17, 2012 after which the state could take the money.
To date, at least one New Jersey local municipality, Marlboro, has successfully prevented the state from taking back its municipal affordable housing trust fund proceeds. Reported PolitickerNJ on July 6, 2012:
“The State has consistently refused to define ‘commit to spend,’ leaving municipalities in the dark as to what is expected of them. ‘It is patently unfair to take this money from towns without first giving them the rules of the game,’ said League Executive Director Bill Dressel”.