On June 29, 2011, Governor Christie issued Reorganization Plan No. 001-2011, that would, if not rejected within 60 days by the Legislature, abolish the Council on Affordable Housing (“COAH”) and transfer all responsibilities to the Department of Community Affairs (“Department”). The purpose of the plan “is to reduce the unnecessary complexity of affordable housing administration in New Jersey, lower the administrative costs associated with the present regulatory process, and streamline the development of new housing projects.” The plan transfers all functions, powers and duties to the Commissioner of the Department.
The reorganization plan indicates that it will produce significant costs savings to State and local government taxpayers:
- Municipal development will be achieved through a single, predictable rule-making process conducted under the familiar and well-established provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act.
- Local governments will be freed from the sometimes inconsistent directions provided by COAH and the Department, thereby reducing the legal and administrative costs resulting from regulatory uncertainty.
- The Department can effectively manage the State’s affordable housing obligations without the necessity of the multi-member Council and separate full-time staff.
- Taxpayers will also benefit from the elimination of the compensation paid to COAH board members for their time, travel costs, and attendance at meetings.
The plan does not appear to alter affordable housing obligations and the constitutional prohibition against exclusionary zoning.
For more information you can click on this link for a copy of Reorganization Plan No. 001-2011.