Jersey City Council approves 30-year tax abatement for affordable housing complex

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The Jersey City Council unanimously approved (9-0) a 30-year tax abatement for an affordable housing project that would span through portions of Ocean Avenue and Dwight Street, though not every resident was thrilled with the idea. 

Yvonne Balcer, a city activist who routinely speaks out against long-term tax abatements, did not make an exception this time around.

Thomas Leane, an attorney from Genova Burns for Genesis Ocean Urban Renewal Associates, LLC – the  affordable housing project developer – said the change was necessary since the unit was recently upgraded from 54 to 64 units.

Nevertheless, Balcer said the abatement still makes no sense.

Meanwhile, Kabil Tayari, a former controversial deputy mayor under Jerramiah Healy, had no problem with the city helping a “small-time developer” build affordable housing.

After two more residents spoke, the council unanimously approved the measure, though Ward C Councilman Rich Boggiano said this is where the governing body should draw the line on 30-year tax abatements – stating that there is no need to give out abatements that span more than 10, 15 years tops.