Legislation aimed at establishing the new fourth round of rules for affordable housing and the process for same was re-introduced as Assembly Bill A-4 and Senate Bill S-50 in the new legislative session with minor changes from the previous session’s bills (click here and here to view my earlier posts on this subject). Most of the provisions in the previous session’s bills remain unchanged. Notably, the re-introduced bills remove the requirement for the Supreme Court to appoint special masters for regional areas of the state to calculate regional needs on municipal present and future obligations, instead assigning the Department of Community Affairs to calculate these needs. Both bills are progressing through the two houses and have been moved to appropriations committees.
The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing on the Senate version of the newly re-introduced bill on January 25. After an extensive hearing involving numerous comments expressing support, concerns, opposition, and proposed amendments to the bill from municipal officials, trade groups, and other interested parties, the Committee voted 3-2 to release the bill with minor proposed amendments to certain deadlines and referred the bill to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.
The Assembly’s companion bill was considered by the Assembly Housing Committee at its meeting on January 29 and was similarly referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.
The two companion bills, as currently drafted, can be found in their entirety here and here. Our team of land use, public policy, and government relations attorneys will continue to monitor this and other affordable housing legislation and update this blog from time to time.