League of Municipalities calls DCA Trust Fund letter Inadequate

Letters to towns seek trust fund money by August 13th

The state is seeking to get money from municipalities’ local housing trust funds today by sending out letters to municipalities.

However, the NJ League of Municipalities, the lobbying group that tried unsuccessfully to get an injunction on the municipal trust funds the state was seeking to take over, found the letters to be lacking in detail.

According to a statement from the League of Municipalities:

“The League has reviewed these letters, and finds they provide inadequate clarity and guidance for municipalities. Indeed, the letters fail to address a number of outstanding issues and accordingly the League finds that the letters do not appear to comport with the recent Court order.

“The most glaring unaddressed issue is exactly when did COAH meet to authorize the issuance of these letters and when are future meetings of COAH scheduled to hear issues and appeals. The statute and the court order contain no ambiguities: the COAH board must meet to authorize the actions of the agency. The State has failed to provide municipalities any indication when such meetings will occur, but instead imposed an Aug. 13 deadline to either contest the amounts determined by the agency, or forfeit their funds to the state.”

Nearly two weeks ago, the Appellate Division ruled that the state can take the money back from municipalities, but gave the towns the ability to issue a legal challenge to the seizure.

The Appellate Division order requires that COAH provide municipalities with notice, an explanation of how much it believes each municipality should forfeit to the State, and an explanation as to how it arrived at that particular amount.