Township of Little Falls, NJ
Passaic County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the governing body of the Township of Little Falls as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 46.
Development fees — See Ch. 57.
Land use procedures — See Ch. 109.
Rent control — See Ch. 178.
Zoning — See Ch. 280.
[Adopted 1-28-2005 by Ord. No. 953]

§ 97-1 Purpose and intent.

This article of the Little Falls Code sets forth regulations regarding low- and moderate-income housing units in Little Falls that are consistent with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:93 et seq. as effective on June 6, 1994. These rules are pursuant to the Fair Housing Act of 1985[1] and Little Falls' constitutional obligation to provide for its fair share of low- and moderate-income housing.
[1]
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 52:27D-301 et seq.

§ 97-2 Requirements for fair share of low- and moderate-income housing.

A. 
Little Falls' fair share obligation shall be divided equally between low- and moderate-income households as per N.J.A.C. 5:93-2.20.
B. 
Except for inclusionary developments constructed pursuant to low-income tax credit regulations:
(1) 
At least half of all units within each inclusionary development shall be affordable to low-income households;
(2) 
At least half of all rental units shall be affordable to low-income households; and
(3) 
At least 1/3 of all units in each bedroom distribution pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:93-7.3 shall be affordable to low-income households.
C. 
Inclusionary developments that are not age restricted shall be constructed in conjunction with realistic market demands so that:
(1) 
The combination of efficiency and one-bedroom units is at least 10% and no greater than 20% of the total low- and moderate-income units;
(2) 
At least 30% of all low- and moderate-income units are two-bedroom units;
(3) 
At least 20% of all low- and moderate-income units are three-bedroom units; and
(4) 
Low- and moderate-income units that are age restricted may utilize a modified bedroom distribution. At a minimum, the number of bedrooms shall equal the number of age restricted low- and moderate-income units within the inclusionary development.
D. 
In conjunction with realistic market information, the following criteria shall be used in determining maximum rents and sale prices:
(1) 
Efficiency units shall be affordable to a one-person household.
(2) 
One-bedroom units shall be affordable to, one-and-one-half-person households.
(3) 
Two-bedroom units shall be affordable to three-person households.
(4) 
Three-bedroom units shall be affordable to four-and-one-half-person households.
(5) 
Median income by household size shall be established by a regional weighted average of the uncapped Section 8 income limits published by HUD as per N.J.A.C. 5:93-7.4(b).
(6) 
The maximum sales prices of low- and moderate-income units within each inclusionary development shall be affordable to households earning no more than 70% of median income. In averaging an affordability range of 55% for sales units, the municipal ordinance shall require moderate-income sales units to be available for at least two different prices and low income sales units to be available for at least two different prices.
(7) 
For both owner-occupied and rental units, the low- and moderate-income units shall utilize the same heating source as market units within an inclusionary development.
(8) 
Low-income units shall be reserved for households with a gross household income less than or equal to 50% of the median income approved by COAH; moderate-income units shall be reserved for households with a gross household income less than 80% of the median income approved by COAH as per N.J.A.C. 5:93-7.4 (g).
(9) 
The regulations outlined in N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.15 and 9.16 shall be applicable for purchased and rental units.
E. 
For rental units, developers and/or municipal sponsors may: establish one rent for a low-income unit and one for a moderate-income unit for each bedroom distribution. Gross rents, including an allowance for tenant-paid utilities, shall be established so as not to exceed 30% of the gross monthly income of the appropriate household size as per N.J.A.C. 5:93-7.4(f). The tenant-paid utility allowance shall be consistent with the utility allowance approved by HUD for use in New Jersey. The maximum rents of low- and moderate-income units within each inclusionary development shall be affordable to households earning no more than 60% of median income. In averaging an affordability range of 52% for rental units, developers and/or municipal sponsors of rental units may establish one rent for a low-income unit and one rent for a moderate-income unit for each bedroom distribution.
F. 
For sale units:
(1) 
The initial price of a low- and moderate-income owner-occupied for-sale housing unit shall be established so that after a down payment of 5%, the monthly principal, interest, homeowner and private mortgage insurance, property taxes (based on the restricted value of the low- and moderate-income unit) and condominium or homeowner fee do not exceed 28% of the eligible gross monthly income.
(2) 
Master deeds of inclusionary developments shall regulate condominium or homeowner association fees or special assessments of low- and moderate-income purchasers [at the state percentage in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:93-7.4(e)] of those paid by market purchasers. Once established within the master deed, the percentage shall not be amended without prior approval from COAH.
(3) 
Little Falls Township shall follow the general provisions concerning uniform deed restriction liens and enforcement through certificates of occupancy or reoccupancy on sale units as per N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.3.
(4) 
Little Falls Township shall require a certificate of reoccupancy for any occupancy of a low or moderate income sales unit resulting from a resale as per N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.3(c).
(5) 
Municipal, state, nonprofit and seller options regarding sale units shall be consistent with N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.5 through 9.8. Municipal rejection of repayment options for sale units shall be consistent with N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.9.
(6) 
The continued application of options to create, rehabilitate or maintain low- and moderate-income sale units shall be consistent with N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.10.
(7) 
Eligible capital improvements prior to the expiration of controls on sale units shall be consistent with N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.11.
(8) 
The regulations detailed in N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.12 through 9.14 shall be applicable to low- and moderate-income units that are for-sale units.
G. 
In zoning for inclusionary developments the following is required:
(1) 
Low- and moderate-income units shall be built in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:93-5.6(d):
Minimum Percent of Low/Moderate Income Units Completed
Percent of Market Housing Units Completed
0
25
10
25 + 1 unit
50
50
75
75
100
90
100
(2) 
A design of inclusionary developments that integrates low- and moderate-income units with market units is encouraged as per N.J.A.C. 5:93-5.6(f).
H. 
To provide assurances that low- and moderate-income units are created with controls on affordability over time and that low- and moderate-income households occupy these units, Little Falls shall designate the Township Clerk with the responsibility of ensuring the affordability of sales and rental units over time. The Township Clerk shall be responsible for those activities detailed in N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.1(a).
(1) 
In addition, the Township Clerk shall be responsible for utilizing the verification and certification procedures outlined in N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.1(b) in placing households in low- and moderate-income units.
(2) 
Newly constructed low- and moderate-income sales units shall remain affordable to low- and moderate-income households for at least 30 years. The Township Clerk shall require all conveyances of newly constructed units to contain the deed restriction and mortgage lien adopted by COAH and referred to as Technical Appendix E as found in N.J.A.C. 5:93.
(3) 
Housing units created through the conversion of a nonresidential structure shall be considered a new housing unit and shall be subject to thirty-year controls on affordability. The Township Clerk shall require COAH's appropriate deed restriction and mortgage lien.
I. 
Regarding rehabilitated units:
(1) 
Rehabilitated owner-occupied single-family housing units that are improved to code standard shall be subject to affordability controls for at least six years.
(2) 
Rehabilitated renter-occupied housing units that are improved to code standard shall be subject to affordability controls for at least 10 years.
J. 
Regarding rental units:
(1) 
Newly constructed low- and moderate-income rental units shall remain affordable to low- and moderate-income households for at least 30 years. The Township Clerk shall require the deed restriction and lien and deed of easement referred to as Technical Appendix H as found in N.J.A.C. 5:93.
(2) 
Affordability controls in accessory apartments shall be for a period of at least 10 years, except if the apartment is to receive a rental bonus credit pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:93-5.15, then the controls on affordability shall extend for 30 years (N.J.A.C. 5:93-5.9).
(3) 
Alternative living arrangements shall be controlled in a manner suitable to COAH that provides assurances that such a facility shall house low- and moderate-income households for at least 10 years except if the alternative living arrangement is to receive a rental bonus credit pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:93-5.15, then the controls on affordability shall extend for 30 years (N.J.A.C. 5:93-5.8).
K. 
Section 14(b) of the Fair Housing Act N.J.S.A. 52:27D-301 et seq. incorporates the need to eliminate unnecessary cost-generating features from Little Falls' land use ordinances. Accordingly, Little Falls shall eliminate development standards that are not essential to protect the public welfare and to expedite or fast-track municipal approvals/denials on certain affordable housing developments. Little Falls shall adhere to the components of N.J.A.C. 5:93-10.1-10.3.

§ 97-3 Affirmative marketing requirements.

A. 
The Township of Little Falls in Passaic County has an RCP fair share obligation of 10 units which shall be addressed through a regional contribution agreement (RCA). New affordable housing opportunities shall be intended to meet Little Falls' unmet need of 91 units through the Affordable Housing Overlay Zone Ordinance.[1] The following affirmative marketing requirements shall apply to the Affordable Housing Overlay Zone Ordinance and all new developments that contain proposed low- and moderate-income units.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 280, Zoning, Art. XIVA, AHO Affordable Housing Overlay Zone.
B. 
The affirmative marketing plan is a regional marketing strategy designed to attract buyers and/or renters of all majority and minority groups, regardless of sex, age or number of children, to housing units which are being marketed by a developer/sponsor, municipality and/or designated administrative agency of affordable housing. The plan shall address the requirements of N.J.A.C. 5:93-11. In addition, the plan prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, financing or other services related to housing on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, handicap, age, familial status/size or national origin. The Township of Little Falls is in the housing region consisting of Bergen, Hudson, Passaic and Sussex counties. The affirmative marketing program is a continuing program and shall meet the following requirements:
(1) 
All newspaper articles, announcements and requests for applications for low- and moderate-income units shall appear in the following daily regional newspapers/publications: North Jersey Herald-News and Star-Ledger.
(2) 
The primary marketing shall take the form of at least one press release sent to the above publications and a paid display advertisement in each of the above newspapers. Additional advertising and publicity shall be on an as needed basis.
(3) 
The advertisement shall include a description of the:
(a) 
Street address of units;
(b) 
Direction to housing units;
(c) 
Number of bedrooms per unit;
(d) 
Range of selling prices/rents;
(e) 
Size of units;
(f) 
Household income information; and
(g) 
Location of applications including business hours and where/how applications may be attained.
(4) 
All newspaper articles, announcements and requests for applications for low- and moderate-income housing shall appear in the following neighborhood-oriented newspapers: North Jersey Herald-News and Star-Ledger.
(5) 
The following is the location of applications, brochure(s), sign(s), and/or poster(s) used as part of the affirmative marketing program including specific employment centers within the region:
(a) 
Township of Little Falls Municipal Building, 225 Main Street, Little Falls, NJ 07424.
(b) 
Township of Little Falls Municipal Library, 8 Warren Street, Little Falls, NJ 07424.
(c) 
Developer's sales office.
(d) 
Major employers in region.
(6) 
The following is a listing of community contact person(s) and/or organizations in Passaic County that will aid in the affirmative marketing program with particular emphasis on contacts that will reach out to groups that are least likely to apply for housing within the region:
(a) 
Religious groups.
(b) 
Tenant groups.
(c) 
Civic organizations.
(7) 
Quarterly flyers and applications will be sent to each of the following agencies for publication in their journals and for circulation among their members: Board of Realtors in Passaic County.
(8) 
Applications shall be mailed to prospective applicants upon request.
(9) 
Additionally, quarterly informational circulars and applications shall be sent to the chief administrative employees of each of the following agencies in the counties of Bergen, Hudson, Passaic and Sussex:
(a) 
Welfare or Social Service Board.
(b) 
Rental Assistance Office (local office of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs).
(c) 
Office on Aging.
(d) 
Housing Agency or Authority.
(e) 
Library.
(f) 
Area Community Action Agencies.
(10) 
The following is a description of the random selection method that shall be used to select occupants of low- and moderate-income housing. Each applicant, upon submission of an application, will be designated a number. Two categories will be created: one for low-income households and one for moderate-income households. A blind drawing will be undertaken: one each for low- and moderate-income households who are eligible for the specific affordable units.
(11) 
The Township of Little Falls is ultimately responsible for administering the affirmative marketing program. The Township of Little Falls has delegated this responsibility to the Township of Little Falls Affordable Housing Board. The Affordable Housing Board has the responsibility to income-qualify low- and moderate-income households; to place income-eligible households in low- and moderate-income units upon initial occupancy; to provide for the initial occupancy of low- and moderate-income units with income-qualified households; to continue to qualify households for reoccupancy of units as they become vacant during the period of affordability controls; to assist with advertising and outreach to low- and moderate-income households; and to enforce the terms of the deed restriction and mortgage loan as per N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.1. The Little Falls Borough Administrator is the designated housing officer to act as liaison to the Township of Little Falls Affordable Housing Board. The Township of Little Falls Affordable Housing Board shall provide counseling services to low- and moderate-income applicants on subjects such as budgeting, credit issues, mortgage qualification, rental lease requirements and landlord/tenant law.
(12) 
Households who live or work in the COAH-established housing region may be given preference for sales and rental units constructed within that housing region. Applicants living outside the housing region shall have an equal opportunity for units after regional applicants have been initially serviced. The Township of Little Falls intends to comply with N.J.A.C. 5:93-11.7.
(13) 
All developers of low- and moderate-income housing may assist in the marketing of the affordable units in their respective developments if so designated by the Township of Little Falls.
(14) 
The marketing program shall commence at least 120 days before the issuance of either temporary or permanent certificates of occupancy. The marketing program shall continue until all low- and moderate-income housing units are initially occupied and for as long as affordable units are deed restricted and occupancy or reoccupancy of units continues to be necessary.
(15) 
The Township of Little Falls Affordable Housing Board shall comply with monitoring and reporting requirements as per N.J.A.C. 5:93-11.6 and 12.1.
[Adopted 5-10-2010 by Ord. No. 1087]

§ 97-4 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to create the administrative mechanisms needed for the execution of the Township of Little Falls' responsibility to assist in the provision of affordable housing pursuant to the Fair Housing Act of 1985.

§ 97-5 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ADMINISTRATIVE AGENT
The entity responsible for administering the affordability controls of some or all units in the affordable housing program for the Township of Little Falls, to ensure that the restricted units under administration are affirmatively marketed and sold or rented, as applicable, only to low- and moderate-income households.
MUNICIPAL HOUSING LIAISON
The employee charged by the governing body with the responsibility for oversight and administration of the affordable housing program for the Township of Little Falls.

§ 97-6 Establishment of position; compensation; powers and duties.

A. 
Establishment of position of Municipal Housing Liaison. There is hereby established the position of Municipal Housing Liaison for the Township of Little Falls.
B. 
Subject to the approval of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), the Municipal Housing Liaison shall be appointed by the Mayor with advice and consent of the Township Council and may be a full- or part-time municipal employee.
C. 
The Municipal Housing Liaison shall be responsible for oversight and administration of the affordable housing program for the Township of Little Falls, including the following responsibilities which may not be contracted out, exclusive of Subsection C(6) which may be contracted out:
(1) 
Serving as the Township of Little Falls' primary point of contact for all inquiries from the state, affordable housing providers, administrative agents, and interested households;
(2) 
Monitoring the status of all restricted units in the Township of Little Falls' Fair Share Plan;
(3) 
Compiling, verifying, and submitting annual reports as required by COAH;
(4) 
Coordinating meetings with affordable housing providers and administrative agents, as applicable;
(5) 
Attending continuing education opportunities on affordability controls, compliance monitoring, and affirmative marketing as offered or approved by COAH; and
(6) 
If applicable, serving as Administrative Agent for some or all of the restricted units in the Township of Little Falls as described in Subsection F below.
D. 
Subject to approval by COAH, the Township of Little Falls may contract with or authorize a consultant, authority, government or any agency charged by the governing body, which entity shall have the responsibility of administering the affordable housing program of the Township of Little Falls, except for those responsibilities which may not be contracted out, pursuant to Subsection C above. If the Township of Little Falls contracts with another entity to administer all or any part of the affordable housing program, including the affordability controls and Affirmative Marketing Plan, the Municipal Housing Liaison shall supervise the contracting administrative agent.
E. 
Compensation. Compensation shall be fixed by the governing body at the time of the appointment of the Municipal Housing Liaison.
F. 
Administrative powers and duties assigned to the Municipal Housing Liaison:
(1) 
Affirmative marketing.
(a) 
Conducting an outreach process to ensure affirmative marketing of affordable housing units in accordance with the Affirmative Marketing Plan of the Township of Little Falls and the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.15; and
(b) 
Providing counseling or contracting to provide counseling services to low- and moderate-income applicants on subjects, such as budgeting, credit issues, mortgage qualification, rental lease requirements and landlord/tenant law.
(2) 
Household certification.
(a) 
Soliciting, scheduling, conducting and following up on interviews with interested households.
(b) 
Conducting interviews and obtaining sufficient documentation of income and assets upon which to base a determination of income eligibility for a low- or moderate-income unit.
(c) 
Providing written notification to each applicant as to the determination of eligibility or noneligibility.
(d) 
Requiring that all certified applicants for restricted units execute a certificate substantially in the form, as applicable, of either the ownership or rental certificates set forth in Appendixes J and K of N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.1 et. seq.
(e) 
Creating and maintaining a referral list of eligible applicant households living in the housing region and eligible applicant households with members working in the housing region where the units are located.
(f) 
Employing the random selection process as provided in the Affirmative Marketing Plan of the Township of Little Falls when referring households for certification to affordable units.
(3) 
Affordability controls.
(a) 
Furnishing to attorneys or closing agents forms of deed restrictions and mortgages for recording at the time of conveyance of title of each restricted unit.
(b) 
Creating and maintaining a file on each restricted unit for its control period, including the recorded deed with restrictions, recorded mortgage and note, as appropriate.
(c) 
Ensuring that the removal of the deed restrictions and cancellation of the mortgage note are effectuated and properly filed with the appropriate County's Register of Deeds or County Clerk's office after the termination of the affordability controls for each restricted unit.
(d) 
Communicating with lenders regarding foreclosures.
(e) 
Ensuring the issuance of continuing certificates of occupancy or certifications pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.10.
(4) 
Resale and rental.
(a) 
Instituting and maintaining an effective means of communicating information between owners and the Administrative Agent regarding the availability of restricted units for resale or rental.
(b) 
Instituting and maintaining an effective means of communicating information to low- and moderate-income households regarding the availability of restricted units for resale or re-rental.
(5) 
Processing request from unit owners.
(a) 
Reviewing and approving requests from owners of restricted units who wish to take out home equity loans or refinance during the term of their ownership.
(b) 
Reviewing and approving requests to increase sales prices from owners of restricted units who wish to make capital improvements to the units that would affect the selling price, such authorizations to be limited to those improvements resulting in additional bedrooms or bathrooms and the cost of central-air-conditioning systems.
(c) 
Processing requests and making determinations on requests by owners of restricted units for hardship waivers.
(6) 
Enforcement.
(a) 
Securing annually lists of all affordable housing units for which tax bills are mailed to absentee owners and notifying all such owners that they must either move back to their unit or sell it.
(b) 
Securing from all developers and sponsors of restricted units, at the earliest point of contact in the processing of the project or development, written acknowledgment of the requirement that no restricted unit can be offered, or in any other way committed, to any person, other than a household duly certified to the unit by the Administrative Agent.
(c) 
The posting annually in all rental properties, including two family homes, of a notice as to the maximum permitted rent together with the telephone number of the Administrative Agent where complaints of excess rent can be made.
(d) 
Sending annual mailings to all owners of affordable dwelling units, reminding them of the notices and requirements outlined in N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.18(d)4.
(e) 
Establishing a program for diverting unlawful rent payments to the municipality's affordable housing trust fund or other appropriate municipal fund approved by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
(f) 
Creating and publishing a written operating manual, as approved by COAH, setting forth procedures for administering such affordability controls.
(g) 
Providing annual reports to COAH as required.
(7) 
The Administrative Agent shall have the authority to take all actions necessary and appropriate to carry out its responsibilities hereunder.