Proposed affordable housing changes make bad policy worse, McGuckin and Kanitra say

Proposed affordable housing changes make bad policy worse, McGuckin and Kanitra say

TRENTON, N.J. – It could be called the Unaffordable State. New Jersey’s high taxes and overregulation push millions of New Jersey residents to the brink already. Now, the proposed fix to New Jersey’s affordable housing law will make a bad problem worse, especially for suburban taxpayers, Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and Paul Kanitra say.

On Monday, the Democrat-sponsored bill (A4), which passed along party lines, continued the government interference and bloat in New Jersey’s housing crisis. Although hailed by supporters as a much-needed overhaul that promises to abolish the Council on Affordable Housing and provide municipalities with immunity from builders’ remedy lawsuits, it will instead continue to drive up housing costs and property taxes as suburban and rural communities struggle to pay for infrastructure and services while still leaving municipalities vulnerable to lawsuits and fines.

“We can’t just talk about building housing. This bill offers no plan to address all the important public policy issues that come with it: transportation, water quality, jobs, schools,” McGuckin (R-Ocean) said. “We should chuck the entire system and address the infrastructure needs first before we just allow the builders to build more. This is why I oppose every effort the state has tried to so far.  The state should come up with a comprehensive plan.”



If passed, the legislation would replace COAH with a different $16 million bureaucracy, this one called the Affordable Housing Dispute Resolution Program, overseen by the Department of Community Affairs. Affordable housing unit obligations could cost suburban taxpayers more than $65 billion over 10 years.

Republicans also argued the bill fails to take into account the geographic diversity that makes New Jersey unique among the 50 states while also ignoring the real needs of residents: building affordable housing where jobs and resources are plentiful. Rather than playing to these strengths, the legislation would diminish them.

“We need to help more people in New Jersey without jamming more development down every community’s throat. This bill doesn’t differentiate between a one-square-mile town and a 50-square-mile town,” Kanitra (R-Ocean) added. “We’re overburdened with insanely high property taxes, and are consistently sticking residents with the highest property taxes in the country that checks aren’t keeping up with. This bill isn’t doing residents any favors and will make the cost of living and property taxes worse without regard to logistical considerations. We need responsible, fact-based solutions to ensure everyone can thrive in New Jersey.”