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Affordable housing mandate threatens quality of life, mayor says

“While I know this is Somerset, it is obvious that with the exception of District 39 and District 40 leadership, the crickets from District 36, District 37 and District 38 are becoming more incessant. When will the leadership of NJ Legislature stop playing this “partisan card”? “, Edward Durfee

Affordable housing mandate threatens quality of life, mayor says

Updated on June 20, 2017 at 3:31 PMPosted on June 20, 2017 at 3:30 PM


NJ Advance Media for

MONTGOMERY TWP. – Mayor Ed Trzaska is concerned that a potential court mandate requiring the township meet an affordable housing unit quota will put an overwhelming burden on the municipality and negatively effect the quality of life.

At issue is a state Supreme Court ruling in March of 2015 that opened the door for municipalities to be sued for not providing a “fair share” of affordable housing units. The ruling also allows a municipality to demonstrate in court that it has met the requirement to provide affordable housing.

The township, which has a population of some 23,000, has been in the forefront of providing affordable housing units, said Trzaska. Currently, he said the township has 300 affordable housing units, of which more than one-fourth are vacant.

Under a possible court ruling by the Fair Share Housing Counsel, the township could be forced to build between 501 and 1,000 additional affordable housing units, as well as 4,000 market-rate units, said Trzaska. The township has yet to be given the exact number of affordable units it must build, he said.

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Reader says It is unbelievable if not one of our council members attended the OVERDEVELOPMENT forum Bergen Community College

high density housing Ridgewood

It is unbelievable if not one of our council members attended this event!!! Instead of wasting your time on silly squabble, bet down to the issues that affect each and every tax payer in Ridgewood. We do not want to turn our town over to developers who are going to destroy the Village and line their pockets under the banner of “fair housing.” Can someone confirm whether or not we participated in this event and whether we are taking an active ole in supporting this Assembly womens’ efforts? And if our council people are not, they should consider resigning because they really are not addressing the most pressing issue facing and threating our town. Its outrageous that our council members are fiddling while Rome starts to burn beneath their feet! Arohnson and his ilk turned the town over to developers. But this group is doing nothing to try and take it back. Its time for action.

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Fair Share Housing Non Profit Attacks and attempts to Bully Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi

fair housing


June 19,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi represents 23 municipalities located in Bergen and Passaic counties, all of which have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on professional fees as a result of the failure and inaction of our State to provide guidance on how to comply with Court decisions on affordable housing.

The largest drivers of cost result from third party “intervenors” appearing and demanding to build large numbers of market rate units in exchange for providing a small number of affordable units. One of these intervenors is a non-profit organization Fair Share Housing. This non-profit has been granted enormous power in our State and has been dictating settlement terms for almost all of our municipalities.

Their deceptive practices are similar to certain retail clothing stores that used to raise their prices by 40 percent immediately before a “30 percent sale”. Indeed, Fair Share put forth a report that is being relied upon by our Courts which states, among other things, that NJ needs 280,000 units of affordable housing.

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Many community leaders have reached out seeking help and guidance on how to handle this issue. In an effort to start dialogue on this topic Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi  decided to host a bipartisan group of hearings. Schepisi  invited Fair Share so that their point of view could be heard. Rather than attend or call or meet with me they choose to personally attack and bully Assemblywomen Holly Schepisi . A copy of their extremely unprofessional letter is attached. If you ever wonder why the large issues in NJ never get addressed, it is because of nonsense like this. I urge every municipality fighting their numbers to use a copy of this letter as one of their exhibits.

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Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi to hold Major Legislative Hearing on Forced Overdevelopment in Bergen County

Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi

Tired of Being Number One in all the wrong things? Hope to see representation from all of our communities on June 15, 2017. Help be part of the solution !

June 3,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

WESTWOOD NJ,  Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi will initiate a series of statewide legislative hearings to address New Jersey’s affordable housing crisis. The first will be held on June 15 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Bergen Community College’s Technology Education Center room 128.

One candidate for New Jersey Governor GOP Joseph Rudy Rullo  has promised to dissolve COAH  altogether while other candidates have only spoken in vague generalities or ignored the subject all together.

“The tough job of finding a solution cannot wait another day,” said Schepisi (R-Bergen). “If the state Legislature won’t hold meetings on court-forced overdevelopment, I will.”

Schepisi will be joined by other invited guests, including fellow legislators, mayors, town officials and planners, engineers, traffic experts, board of education members, environmental groups and other interested parties.

She said the hearings will examine ways to provide a better way toward affordability for the residents of this state while protecting towns from a recent state Supreme Court ruling that could force the construction of up to 1.5 million unneeded housing units to satisfy a fictitious population increase of 3.35 million in the next nine years – while Rutgers projects a population increase of only 219,000.

“We have reached a critical juncture in the State of New Jersey. We are the most costly, the most densely populated with the highest number of outmigration because people can no longer afford to live here. Instead of smart discussions regarding how to implement change to reduce living costs for all of our residents, the legislature’s inaction is forcing communities to potentially double their housing population in just the next nine years, destroying all existing housing prices while increasing property taxes,” said Schepisi. “We need to stop the court’s action and fix this issue while we still can.”

Schepisi recently introduced two bills to freeze municipal affordable housing obligations through the end of the year, and establish a commission to study the issue and determine each town’s obligations. As a result of the failure of the legislature to move any of these initiatives forward, Schepisi has decided to hold her own hearings and provide the transcripts and testimony to the NJ Legislature.

Over forty-five municipalities in Bergen, Gloucester, Morris, Essex, Union, Somerset, Mercer, Passaic and Hudson counties have passed a resolution urging action by the legislature to stop such discrepancy. The resolution also supports Schepisi’s bills to temporarily halt affordable housing litigation and create a special commission.

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Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi NJ Supreme Court is forcing our communities to build up to ONE MILLION new units of unneeded housing


March 25,2017
Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi

Under recent affordable housing rulings by the NJ Supreme Court, our communities are being forced to permit construction of up to ONE MILLION new units of unneeded housing in order to satisfy a fictitious population increase of 30 percent in the next 9 years. Today’s Bergen Record reports that NOBODY COMES HERE. IT’S TOO CROWDED (the story is below). So why is all this housing being forced on New Jersey? Help me stop this while we still can. Please write Assembly Speaker Prieto and ask him to post A-4666 which imposes a moratorium on affordable housing settlements and litigation and A-4667 which creates a commission to study the actual need and obligations.

– “New Jersey population continues growing by slim margins,” by The Record’s Dave Sheingold: “New Jersey’s population inched up by the barest of margins last year, continuing a nearly three-decade trend that has seen the state grow at one of the slowest rates in the country, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Lodged firmly in a pattern seen across most of the northeast and parts of the Midwest since before the turn of the century, the number of New Jerseyans increased by a mere 9,000, or 0.1 percent, in 2016. That left the nation’s most densely populated state with 8.94 million residents, a figure that is up 1.7 percent since 2010 and 6.3 percent since 2000. New Jersey’s growth rate this decade is the 14th smallest in the country, far behind increases of 6 to 12 percent seen in the southeast, southwest, west and northern Great Plains.”…/new-jersey-populatio…/99531254/

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Change in “Affordable Housing” Requirement Great News For Responsible Development in Ridgewood

Central Business District Ridgewood ArtChick

photo by ArtChick

July 13,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, looks like Ridgewood residents who questioned the over development of the central business district proved right all along. A state appeals panel overturned a court order that could have added thousands of units to developers’ plans.

Suburban towns are not required to address the so-called “backlog” of unmet housing needs that supposedly accumulated from 1999-2015. This is a very good development for Ridgewood. The developers have much less leverage than they thought they did. Now we have to press the point that we are fully built-out, have been for decades, and should not be obliged by any court to “build up”, city-style, to accommodate large numbers of new residents.

What a shame for Saraceno, Simoncini, Pucciarelli and all the others that stood to gain big time and pushed so hard to get all that housing into the CBD. Kudos to,the citizens who delayed all the development and stood up to Aronsohn and his horrible reign of terror, and Gwenn with her sparkly eyed talk about COAH.