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Taking COAH Money Means More Sprawl
Date : Thu, 9 May 2013 12:53:06 -0400
For Immediate Release
May 9, 2013
Contact Jeff Tittel, 609-558-9100a
Taking COAH Money Means More Sprawl
Statement by Jeff Tittel
Today the Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Constable testified
on the proposed DCA budget at the Assembly Budget Committee hearing. The
new DCA budget called for stealing between $142 and possibly up to $160
million, which is thousands of housing units. Our Director Jeff Tittel made
the following statement in reaction to the hearing today:
"Today DCA commissioner could not justify or even respond to why they are
stealing these monies. Under direct examination by the Budget Committee
members he couldn't even give a real answer to justify taking this funding.
The Christie administration is stealing the monies to balance the budget,
which is a hidden tax that is going to lead to more sprawl and loss of open
space. These monies are supposed to be used by municipalities to help meet
affordable housing obligations to build houses for seniors, handicapped, or
people of modest means. Instead the Governor wants to use this money for
tax cuts for the wealthy and to close the budget gap."
"The reason he couldn't justify it is because what they are doing is wrong.
This money is important not only to help towns meet affordable housing
needs but it also helps to protect the environment. By building affordable
housing in the right places this prevent builder remember lawsuits and more
"However, if this money is taken away from the towns the towns will still
have to meet their affordable housing obligations. The towns will either
have to raise the taxes or be subject to builder remedy lawsuits. When you
take the money, the obligation does not go away. For every affordable
housing unit the towns would have to give developers four market rate units
which will promote over development. This action will promote more sprawl,
lost of open space, more traffic, air pollution and higher property taxes.
Towns are meeting their housing plans by taking this money away from them
will force them to raise taxes giving the builders what they want."
"The Governor has tried to abolish COAH, but not the town's obligation to
build affordable housing. He is trying to take their money away as part of
that plan. This is just another hidden tax by this Administration, which
will lead to more sprawl and overdevelopment. Affordable housing determines
land use in New Jersey it can either help to redevelop cities or towns or
be used by builders to force high density development in communities that
don't want it. What the Governor is doing is not only bad fiscal policy,
but threatens our last remaining open space and environmentally sensitive
areas in the state."
"This is part of the Administration's ongoing attacks on good planning and
protecting environmentally sensitive areas. The Administration is weakening
protections for Highlands and Pinelands, pushing sewers into environmental
sensate areas, using the Waiver Rule to waive environmental standards, and
using the State Strategic Plan to push development into environmental
sensitive parts of New Jersey. This administration is on the side of
developers and special interest over protecting the environment and open
space. This will be used by developers to force more development into
communities and creating more sprawl."
"This is unconscionable after Superstorm Sandy when so many communities are
trying to rebuild when people of modest means and seniors need to fix or
rehabilitate their houses. There are towns who need to build new affordable
housing to help make up for what has been severely damaged or destroyed.
This money will not only help jump start our economy by providing
construction jobs, but will help make communities more livable as we help
rebuild from Sandy. Instead of helping towns and cities get revitalized
this will lead to further decline. This is going to mean more sprawl, more
overdevelopment, and building in the wrong places. The Governor is trying
to balance the budget not only on the backs of working people, but on the
environment. This is just wrong for New Jersey," said Jeff Tittel,
Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.
-- Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator New Jersey Sierra Club 145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618 609-656-7612 -- Nicole Dallara, Outreach Coordinator New Jersey Sierra Club 145 W. Hanover Street Trenton, NJ 08618 609-656-7612Received on 2013-05-09 09:53:06
New Jersey Sierra Club, 145 West Hanover St., Trenton, NJ 08618, USA
Sierra Club is a registered trademark.
Page URL: http://NewJersey.SierraClub.org/PressReleases/0476.asp
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