Important Legislation Rushed Through Legislative Process

WALL, NJ - Senator Sean T. Kean (R-Monmouth) continued his call for passage of responsible affordable housing reform legislation.  Kean, who previously advocated on behalf of the original S-1, was dismayed at Assembly Democrats attempts to ramrod their own version of the legislation through the process.  A-3447/S-1 was brought to a vote in committee late Friday afternoon and rushed to the Assembly Floor on Monday, without any chance for members to review what is actually in the heavily amended bill.

Under this bill that passed the Assembly, municipalities of Wall Township and Ocean Township will have to build over 900 and 1,000 additional units, respectively.

“This is government at its worst,” Kean said.  “When it comes to a subject as important as affordable housing, which affects every municipality in our state, proper time should be given for members of the Legislature and the public to review the bill.”

Although it would abolish the Council On Affordable Housing (COAH), the Assembly legislation fails to simplify the rules and procedures that make building affordable housing by the municipality a burden to begin with.  A-3447 will only add to the confusion and lead to more rounds of ligation, costing towns across the state thousands, upon thousands of dollars in legal fees.

“New Jersey’s affordable housing policy is in desperate need of reform,” Kean said, “Earlier this year the Senate, acting in a bipartisan manner, responsibly passed the original S-1, which simplified confusing and conflicting laws governing affordable housing.”

“I once again urge the Legislature to pass meaningful affordable housing legislation that Governor Christie can sign,” Kean said.  “Our towns are caught in an increasingly complicated web of legislation, regulations and law suits.  We need a resolution now, and this bill clearly is not going to achieve that.”

Senator Kean has previously introduced SCR-128, which would amend the State constitution to clarify the constitutional obligation of municipalities to provide realistic opportunities for affordable housing for the State’s low and moderate-income families.