SPARTA, NJ – The township council approve the first reading of an ordinance giving preference to United States Military veterans and surviving spouses for affordable housing within Sparta. 

The ordinance was approved by a vote of 4-0 with Jerry Murphy, a veteran, abstaining.

According to Mayor Molly Whilesmith, the township has hired an outside firm to administer the selection process for the “very low, low and moderate income housing,” primarily at the North Village development.

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“Some veterans are faced with a number of difficult issues,” Whilesmith said.  “We wanted to do what we could to help in at least this way.”

Whilesmith said the township manager Bill Close was approached by a veterans group making the request for preference for veterans and spouses for affordable housing.

The ordinance says, “Veterans and surviving spouses shall have a preference, if they meet all eligibility requirements, which preference shall take priority over all other preference.”

This ordinance will have a hearing and second vote at the November 12 township council meeting according to the township clerk Kathleen Chambers' notice.