Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a bill sponsored by state Senator Brian Stack (D-33) that will ban the conversion of affordable housing units to condos or cooperatives in “qualified municipalities.”
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“This is a great victory for affordable housing in New Jersey. I am grateful that my colleagues in the legislature and Governor Murphy recognized the importance of providing municipalities with a valuable tool to preserve the already lacking affordable housing stock,” Stack said in a statement.
“The shortage of affordable rental properties in New Jersey is staggering and the current economic climate does not help.”
Bill S-1055, sponsored by Assembly members Raj Mukherji (D-33) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37) in the lower house, would allow municipalities to pass local legislation that could be enforced with some assistance from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.
“The governing body of a qualified municipality may adopt an ordinance to prohibit the conversion of affordable rental housing units. Upon the adoption of the ordinance to prohibit the conversion of affordable rental housing units, the prohibition would remain in effect until the governing body adopts a resolution to suspend the prohibition,” the law says.
“Additionally, the governing body would be required to transmit any applicable ordinance or resolution to the DCA within five days of adoption. Thereafter, the DCA would be required to deny any application for the conversion of an affordable rental housing unit during such time as the ordinance remains in effect.”
A preliminary version of the legislation was introduced in January, but Stack asked Murphy to pocket veto it since it would have included a five-year moratorium on condo conversions.
The amended version was approved by the senate in May and then by the assembly earlier this month.