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Council passes resolution to satisfy affordable housing requirements

Status of Main Street addressed as well

Monroe Township Council took a step toward satisfying the town’s state affordable housing regulations at its latest meeting.

A resolution was passed that will allow for a partnership with Triad Associates, Inc. to implement an affordable housing trust spending plan.

“The plan establishes a housing trust fund that includes development fees, payments from developers in lieu of construction and other fees,” solicitor Lou Cappelli said. “Triad has been hired to administer the program. In order to administer the program, you need funds set aside. The amount of funds recommended in the plan is $250,000. This gives Triad the ability to go and acquire properties and do other things with properties that we wouldn’t be able to do directly as a municipality without going through a long process.”

Cappelli said the funds wouldn’t go directly to Triad.

“This does not transfer these funds to Triad. It transfers them to a trust account when this governing body approves an expenditure to purchase properties and do other things in accordance to your plan,” he said.

Council was sure to say the funding for the program isn’t grant money — it is replenishable funds.

“These aren’t grants, you’re looking to get a lot of these funds back as properties sell or redevelop. It’s more like a revolving loan than anything else,” Cappelli said.

“Theoretically it’s supposed to replenish itself as we put the houses on the market,” Council president Rich DiLucia added.

This resolution will help the township comply with the Council on Affordable Housing requirements. DiLucia gave an explanation of the COAH regulations.

“The program requires us by law to provide housing for moderate to low income. I saw some of those incomes, they’re not really low,” he said. “There are people outside of COAH that will rent houses that won’t have as much income because some landlord will rehab a house that’s vacant and rent it out to them without deposits. At least this program will have some structure.”

In other news:

  • Director of Parks and Recreation Jim Bonder addressed council on behalf of the status of Main Street.

“Something has to be done with Main Street,” he said. “In my 15 years here, I haven’t seen Main Street change at all. If we put a new business every two years, that would be seven new businesses on Main Street. Could you imagine what Main Street would look like with seven new businesses? It could be a doctor, lawyer, a dentist — these people take care of their properties. Right now, I’m seeing Main Street and there’s nothing getting done. I want to be held accountable and I think all of us directors: Parks and Rec, Buildings and Grounds, Road Department, anybody. We should all be accountable. I think it starts with each director.”

  • Council adopted an ordinance on second reading affecting parking on Allison Drive and Kristin Lane and introduced six ordinances that will be up for adoption at the Sept. 24 meeting.
  • The next council meeting is Monday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m. at the municipal building. A work session will take place at 7 p.m. in the caucus room of the same location. Both meetings are open to the public.

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