New Jersey’s Affordable Housing Legislation

On March 20th, 2024, Governor Phil Murphy signed new affordable housing legislation into law. This new legislation provides a formal framework and timeline for municipalities to determine their affordable housing obligations (i.e., the number of units required), and it imposes strict deadlines for municipalities to act on these obligations. Also, this new legislation prohibits wealthy towns from paying their way out of their affordable housing obligations, so affordable housing should be made available to people in all parts of the state.

To kick off this new process, the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) must calculate the regional needs for affordable housing. This is determined by analyzing the population changes in each region over time. The DCA must complete this part of the process by October 20th, 2024. Then, based on the DCA’s analysis, each municipality must adopt their obligation numbers via “Binding Resolution” by January 31st, 2025. After that, municipalities only have until March 15th, 2026, to amend their Housing Element and Fair Share Plans to adopt the new obligation numbers as well.

As you can see, Governor Murphy’s legislation establishes an extremely streamlined process, and municipalities are going to be encouraged to provide more affordable housing as soon as possible. WJH Engineering is currently looking at several projects that would provide more affordable housing in New Jersey. If you have ideas for a project that would supply your community with the affordable housing it needs, contact us today!