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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bill would kill RCAs

Something that has been forgotten in the public mind recently is the presence of fantastic legislation that would forever end the usage of Regional Contribution Agreements.

No longer would rich suburban municipalities have the ability to skirt their affordable housing requirements and hand them off to poverty-ridden, cash-hungry New Jersey cities, with the passage of this bill, A-500.

Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts introduced the landmark legislation in mid-March, with cosponsors including Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman and assemblymen Jerry Green, Tom Giblin, and Albert Coutinho.

“New Jersey’s affordable housing laws have failed to live up to the promise of providing homes for low- and moderate-income residents while having the insidious effect of concentrating poverty in our inner cities,” said Mr. Roberts, D-Camden.

The most important aspect of the plan is the total elimination of RCAs, which allow towns to pay money to other municipalities in order to pass off their affordable housing requirements.

The money paid almost never ends up covering the costs associated with creating concentrated pockets of poverty, according to Mr. Roberts and others.

The measure has a host of other regulations as well, including a mandatory 20-percent affordable housing component of any state-assisted development project, a 2.5 percent development fee for nonresidential construction, and other money-generating rules.

The funding generated by those stipulations would in turn create some sort of urban housing fund to replace the funding that used to come into the coffers of cities like Trenton, who bought up affordable housing requirements to fill budget gaps and make ends meet.

The legislation has been referred to the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee for deliberation.

3 comments:

Old Mill Hill said...

This is great news! Everyone should encourage their representatives in the legislature to vote for this bill.

Chrissy said...

Agreed. RCAs are ruining our cities, and the lives of the poor.

monica ola said...

When is this being voted on? Here is a link to find out who your assemblyman is
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/districts/municipalities.asp