EDISON – The township is seeking interested landlords to participate in an innovative new program that could put up to $105,000 in their pockets and simultaneously help increase the local affordable housing stock.

Edison’s new “Market to Affordable (M2A) Rental Program” allows landlords to convert one or more of their market-rate rental units into deed-restricted affordable housing units for moderate-income families or individual tenants.

In return, the Township is offering landlords a minimum subsidy of $65,000 and a maximum of up to $105,000 – depending on the number of bedrooms in their unit – for each market-rate rental unit they agree to convert into deed-restricted affordable rental units.

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“It’s a creative program,” Mayor Thomas Lankey said. “We’ve found a way to provide affordable housing that has no impact on housing densities or on land uses, and no tax dollars are subsidizing private landlords.”

Instead of using taxes to fund the program, Lankey explained that residential, commercial and industrial developers are required by ordinance to pay fees into the town’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Those fees would pay for landlord subsidies.

To facilitate this program, Edison has retained the Cranbury-based firm of Community Grants, Planning & Housing (CGP&H), an experienced housing consultant, to work with and advise municipal staff.

The program requires landlords to agree to deed restrictions that ensure each of their designated rental units will remain affordable for at least 30 years, Randall Gottesman, President of CGP&H explained.
Participation in the “M2A Rental Program” would mean few noticeable changes for these landlords. For instance, landlords would retain full ownership and management of their building and all their units.

Landlords may conduct their standard background and credit checks for potential affordable housing tenants, using the same procedures for deed-restricted units as they would for market-rate applicants.

The most notable difference is that to fill vacancies in an affordable unit, the landlord must choose from Edison’s waiting list of prequalified applicants (managed by CGP&H). These applicants must also be income qualified prior to leasing.

“Affordable units in Edison township are usually filled very quickly, as demand far out-strips supply,” said Mr. Gottesman. “Applicants are pre-screened and are highly motivated.”

Another potential benefit for participating landlords is that their properties may qualify for a slight reduction to their municipal property tax obligations. For more details or to ask questions, please contact CGP&H representative: Dan Levin, Senior Planner, 609-664-4857 or dlevin@cgph.net .