BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Bridgewater Township will continue to work on providing affordable housing in the municipality, even though the town had previously satisfied its obligation by state standards.
The Bridgewater Township Council voted unanimously Sept. 7 to approve a resolution adopting an affordable housing trust fund spending plan valued at $7,527,415. The money in the trust fund is slated to be available through the year 2027.
“The town was fortunate to settle its affordable housing obligation,” said township attorney William Savo, prior to the passing of the resolution.
The Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) is the statutory body which provides the rules for affordable housing and the obligations of New Jersey communities.
Bridgewater’s council had approved a resolution in March that settled the township's affordable housing commitment. That resolution also ensured that Bridgewater will not need to build any more affordable housing units in the foreseeable future.
“We thought it was better to have separate resolutions,” Said said, adding that it would give the township flexibility for additional affordable housing.
There would also be additional money available to the township for rehabilitation units and assisted living units, which totaled some $1.3 million. The town would have to work out another settlement, but it would not involve any new construction.
The resolution passed by a 5-0 vote.
Another resolution the council approved on Thursday suspended the option to sell affordable housing units as market rate units, for those units whose terms of deed restriction were set to expire. Savo explained it was for a second round of COAH, and would extend the affordability of such living units.
Savo also said that the extensions had to be voluntary, and would be developed from a program based on the spending plan. The township would also receive credit for those housing units.
“It’s significant,” Savo said. “It keeps us building new units. It makes sense for us to buy inexpensive, and it puts us in a position to do so.”
Councilman Howard Norgalis said the town has been in good hands with Savo on the matter, and council president Allen Kurdyla concurred before the resolution was ratified.