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Specific Ways

During a local recent rant on affordable housing down here in Cape May County, I wrote to the COAH asking for specific ways in which a town can increase its low to moderate income housing. I was most pleased to receive the response below...within a day or two, to boot!

I hope it can be useful to those who may be affected by the unbelievable housing increases of recent years. For instance, a Press of Atlantic City article reported that the median housing cost in Wildwood has increased 196 percent since 2001. In Avalon, it went from $668,000 in 2001 to over $1.5 million in 2004!

In the Cape area, the real estate market is in a frenzy...and I am afraid Average Joe and Jane might as well kiss our county good-bye...unless our local leaders step in immediately with "out of 'their' box," creative thinking.

..........

Dear Mr. Rosenberg:


The most used method for providing affordable housing is through a developer
set-aside or inclusionary development wherein the developer of a
multiple-unit housing development sets aside a portion of the units as
affordable housing.  The third round rules require that one out of every
nine housing units developed in a multi-unit development be affordable.


Also, for every 25 jobs created through non-residential development, one
affordable housing unit must be provided.
Alternatives to this approach include:


1. Municipally sponsored construction of affordable units - rental or
for-sale.


2. Substantial rehabilitation of an existing residential structure.


3. Conversion of a non-residential structure (Vacant school, factory,
commercial building, convent, etc.).


4. Group homes for the mentally or physically disabled.


5. Transitional facilities for the homeless or victims of domestic violence.


6. Accessory apartments.


7. Purchase of vacant houses for affordable re-sale or rental.


8. Write-down/buy-down of previously owned units.


9. Age-restricted (55+) affordable housing - rental or for-sale.


10. Donate land to non-profit housing provider.


11. Regional contribution agreements (RCA).  (Town A pays Town B $35,000 per
unit for Town B to either build or rehabilitate units in Town B.)


12. Rehabilitation of existing units occupied by low or moderate income
households.


13. Elder Cottage Housing Opportunities (ECHO) housing.  (May address a
rehabilitation component only.)


Other strategies may be available to consider.


 Funding can be sought
through various programs administered through the Department of Community
Affairs (DCA) such as Balanced Housing, the Neighborhood Preservation
Program (NPP) or the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) or
through the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) such as
the Federal Low Income Tax Credits program.


COAH will be conducting area meetings as an orientation on the third round
rules municipal officials, planners and the general public.  The first
meeting is for Area 6 (Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Salem Counties)
scheduled for Wednesday, March 23, 2005, at the Rutgers Cooperative
Extension of Cumberland County, Education Center, 291 Morton Avenue (County
Rt. 634), Rosenhayn, NJ, from 7-9 pm.

Please come to the meeting, if you
are available that evening.


If you have any questions, please feel free to E-mail, write (COAH, PO Box
813, Trenton, NJ 08625-0813) or call me at (609) 292-1547.


Sincerely,


James Cordingley, P.P.

Everyone is Included...All People, All Places, All Ways www.everyoneisincluded.us

by Ed Rosenberg on May 14 at 8:13 AM EST

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