Borough of Essex Fells, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 6-15-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-775]
A. 
This article is intended to implement provisions of the New Jersey Fair Housing Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-301 et seq., and the regulations adopted by the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing as set forth in N.J.A.C. 5:91, 5:92 and 5:93 (the "COAH regulations") by establishing procedures and policies relating to eligibility, marketing and other administrative aspects of affordable low- and moderate-income housing units when such housing is authorized or required.
B. 
In furtherance of the intent of this article, all terms used herein shall have the definition and meaning as set forth in the COAH regulations and all provisions herein shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the COAH regulations, including future amendments thereto.
A. 
Purpose. This section sets forth the requirements applicable to low- and moderate-income housing units where required to be provided as part of an inclusionary development. These provisions are intended to implement and be consistent with the COAH regulations in N.J.A.C. 5:93-7.1 et seq., including any subsequent amendments thereto.
B. 
Distribution of low- and moderate-income units.
(1) 
At least 1/2 of all units within an inclusionary development shall be affordable to low-income households.
(2) 
At least 1/2 of all rental units shall be affordable to low-income households.
(3) 
At least 1/3 of all units in each bedroom distribution, pursuant to Subsection C of this section, shall be affordable to low-income households.
C. 
Bedroom distribution.
(1) 
Inclusionary developments that are not restricted to senior citizens shall be structured in conjunction with realistic market demands so that:
(a) 
The combination of efficiency/studio and one-bedroom units is at least 10% and no greater than 20% of the total low- and moderate-income units;
(b) 
At least 30% of all low- and moderate-income units are two-bedroom units; and
(c) 
At least 20% of all low- and moderate-income units are three-bedroom units.
(2) 
Low- and moderate-income units restricted to senior citizens may utilize a modified bedroom distribution. At a minimum, the number of bedrooms shall equal the number of senior citizen low- and moderate-income units within the inclusionary development. The standard can be met by creating all one-bedroom units or by creating a two-bedroom unit for each efficiency/studio unit.
D. 
Establishing rents and prices of units.
(1) 
The initial sales price of a low- and moderate-income owner-occupied housing unit shall be established so that, after a down payment of 5%, the monthly principal, interest, property taxes, insurance and condominium or homeowners' association fees, if any, do not exceed 28% of eligible gross monthly income for the appropriate household size as set forth in a schedule adopted by COAH.
(2) 
For rental units, the rents, including utilities, are to be set so as not to exceed 30% of the eligible gross monthly income for the appropriate household size as set forth in a schedule adopted by COAH. The allowance for utilities shall be consistent with the utility allowance approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for use in New Jersey.
(3) 
The following criteria shall be considered in determining maximum rent levels and sale prices:
(a) 
Efficiency units shall be affordable to one-person households.
(b) 
One-bedroom units shall be affordable to 1.5-person households.
(c) 
Two-bedroom units shall be affordable to three-person households.
(d) 
Three bedroom units shall be affordable to 4.5-person households.
(4) 
Housing units that satisfy the criteria in Subsection (D)(3)(a) through (d) of this section shall be considered affordable.
(5) 
Median income by household size shall be determined as established by COAH based on a regional weighted average of the uncapped Section 8 income limits published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development or other recognized standard that applies to the housing unit.
(6) 
The maximum sales price for any of the low- and moderate-income units within an inclusionary development shall be affordable to a household earning no more than 70% of median income, and the average sales price of all of the low- and moderate-income units within an inclusionary development shall be affordable to a household earning no more than 55% of median income. The maximum rent for any of the low- and moderate-income units within an inclusionary development shall be affordable to a household earning no more than 60% of median income, and the average rent of all of the low- and moderate-income units within an inclusionary development shall be affordable to a household earning no more than 52% of median income.
(7) 
Moderate income sales units shall be available for at least three different prices, and low-income sales units shall be available for at least two different prices.
(8) 
In an inclusionary development, the low- and moderate-income units shall utilize the same heating type or source as the market units.
(9) 
If an inclusionary development involves a condominium or homeowners' association, the master deed shall provide that condominium or homeowners' association fees or special assessments for low- and moderate-income purchasers shall be 1/3 of the condominium or homeowners' association fees paid for market rate units. Once established within the master deed, the percentage shall not be amended without prior approval by COAH.
(10) 
Rent levels and sales price may be adjusted periodically based upon adoption by COAH of revised income limits.
E. 
Phasing of low- and moderate-income units. In accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:93-5.6(d), low- and moderate-income housing units within inclusionary developments shall be built in accordance with the following schedule:
Minimum Percentage of Low- and Moderate-Income Units Completed
Maximum Percentage of Market Housing Units Completed
0
25
10
25 + 1 unit
50
50
75
75
100
90
F. 
Minimum floor area. Minimum floor area requirements for low- and moderate-income housing units shall be as follows:
Unit Type
Minimum Floor Area
(square feet)
0 bedroom (studio) unit
500
1 bedroom unit
675
2 bedroom units
900
3 bedroom units
1,000
G. 
Design and appearance. All buildings containing low- and moderate-income units shall be comparable to those containing market units in terms of architectural design and quality of building materials.
A. 
Purpose. This section is intended to implement the provisions of Subchapter 9 of the COAH regulations, N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.1 et seq., which establishes guidelines and regulations designed to provide assurance that low- and moderate-income housing units will remain affordable over time.
B. 
Administrative authority. Responsibility for administration and enforcement of this section shall be vested with the Borough Administrator, unless and until a municipal contract is entered into with the Department of Community Affairs Affordable Housing Management Service (AHMS) or other agency or entity acceptable to COAH (the "administrative authority"). The administrative authority shall have responsibility for ensuring the affordability of sales and rental units, including affirmative marketing; income qualification of low- and moderate-income households; placing income-eligible households in low- and moderate-income units upon initial occupancy, placing income-eligible households in low- and moderate-income units as they become available during the period of affordability controls; and enforcing the terms of the deed restriction and mortgage loan. The developer shall be responsible for the administrative fee charged by administrative authority.
C. 
Length of affordability controls. All low- and moderate-income units shall be subject to affordability controls for a period of not less than 30 years consistent with N.J.A.C. 5:93-9.2.
D. 
Form of affordability controls.
(1) 
All conveyances of newly constructed low- and moderate-income sales units shall be subject to a deed restriction and mortgage lien in a form consistent with Subchapter 9 of the COAH regulations.
(2) 
All low- and moderate-income rental units shall be subject to appropriate deed restrictions consistent with the purpose and intent of Subchapter 9 of the COAH regulations.
(3) 
The developer shall submit proposed deed restrictions to the administrative authority for review and approval.
A. 
Purpose. This section is intended to implement and be consistent with Subchapter 11 of the COAH regulations, N.J.A.C. 5:93-11.
B. 
Applicability. The regulations in this section shall apply to all low- and moderate-income housing units created in the Borough, including the rental or rerental or rehabilitated units or subsidized accessory apartments.
C. 
Administration. The administrative authority shall have the responsibility of administering the affirmative marketing plan, which shall present a regional strategy designed to attract buyers and/or renters of all majority and minority groups within the housing region, regardless of sex, age or number of children, to housing units which are being marketed by a developer/sponsor, the municipality and/or a designated administrative agency of affordable housing within the Borough. The plan shall prohibit discrimination in the sale, rental, financing or other services related to such housing on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, handicap, age (except for designated senior citizens' units), familial status, family size or national origin.
D. 
Marketing plan. The developer shall be required to prepare and submit an affirmative marketing plan for each development, which shall be subject to prior review and approval by the administrator authority, who shall also approve all advertising and other actions associated with implementation of the affirmative marketing plan. In accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:93-11.3, the affirmative marketing plan shall address the following:
(1) 
The advertising program shall be designed to reach all segments of the eligible population with the housing region.
(2) 
The plan shall describe the media to be used in advertising and publicizing the availability of housing. The media shall include, at a minimum, newspapers of general circulation within the housing region, such as the Newark Star-Ledger.
(3) 
The marketing process for available low- and moderate-income units shall begin at least four months prior to expected occupancy. In implementing the marketing program, there shall be at least one press release and one paid advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation within the housing region during the first week of the marketing program. Additional advertising and publicity shall be on an "as needed" basis.
(4) 
The advertisement shall include a description of the:
(a) 
Number of units currently available;
(b) 
Anticipated dates of future available units;
(c) 
Numbers of bedrooms per available unit;
(d) 
Range of monthly rents;
(e) 
Sizes of available units;
(f) 
Income limit information;
(g) 
Where and how applications may be obtained, including business hours at each location;
(h) 
Name, telephone number and location of the housing administrator's office;
(i) 
For inclusionary developments, street addresses and direction to the housing units and/or local sales office.
(5) 
Applications for low- and moderate-income housing shall be available in several convenient locations, including, at minimum, the municipal administration building, the municipal library and at the developer's sales office. Applications shall be mailed to prospective applicants upon request.
(6) 
Flyers and copies of applications and information packets shall be sent to community contact organizations, agencies, officials and departments, including, at a minimum, the following:
(a) 
Essex County Director of Social Services;
(b) 
Essex County Office on Aging;
(c) 
Essex County Rental Assistance Office (local DCA office);
(d) 
Essex County Board of Realtors;
(e) 
Essex County Community Development Office;
(f) 
Essex County Department of Human Services.
(7) 
The cost of preparing and implementing the marketing plan and all advertising for low- and moderate-income units shall be the owner/developer's responsibility.
E. 
Marketing for initial sales and rental. Marketing for the initial sales and/or rental and resales and rerentals of low- and moderate-income units shall be in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:93-11.4 which establishes the procedures to be followed in screening applicants and verifying incomes.
F. 
Prescreening and qualification.
(1) 
Households that apply for low- and moderate-income housing will be prescreened by the administrative authority for income eligibility by comparing their total income to the current low- and moderate-income limits adopted by COAH. Applicants will be notified as to their eligibility status. In order to ensure a sufficient supply of qualified applicants, the advertising process will continue until at least 10 income-eligible applicants have applied for each low- and moderate-income unit available or until all of the available low- and moderate-income units within the Borough have been sold or rented, whichever occurs first.
(2) 
Having prescreened applicants for income eligibility, the administrative authority will analyze the income and household size of each applicant to determine which of the available low- and moderate-income housing units the applicant is qualified to occupy.
(3) 
The administrative authority will interview each applicant to verify the applicant's income and review the applicant's credit history. Applicants will be required to submit income verification for each household member 18 years or older. This process will be utilized in establishing the final certified applicant group.
(4) 
If there is more than one certified applicant for an available low- and moderate-income unit, placement will be made on a first-come-first-served basis, considering the date the application was first received by the administrative authority.
(5) 
The process described in this section will begin at least 120 days before the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for an affordable dwelling unit in the affordable housing program and will continue until all low- and moderate-income units are occupied and for as long as there are deed-restricted affordable units within the municipality.
(6) 
A waiting list will be maintained by the administrative authority for the purpose of facilitating the initial rentals and any rerentals after all of the low- and moderate-income units have been initially occupied. The administrative authority will update the waiting list at least annually by contacting prospective applicants and determining their continuing eligibility for and interest in the program.
(7) 
Households who live or work within the housing region will be given preference over households from outside of the housing region for the first 30 days that a unit becomes available. If no qualified households from within the housing region can be found within 30 days, the unit may be sold or rented to a household from outside the housing region.
(8) 
Households will generally be referred to available units using the following standards for occupancy:
(a) 
A maximum of two persons per bedroom;
(b) 
Children of same sex in the same bedroom;
(c) 
Unrelated adults or persons of the opposite sex other than husband and wife in separate bedrooms;
(d) 
Children not in same bedroom with parents;
(e) 
Households may be considered for units other than as set forth in this section except that in no case shall a household be referred to a unit that provides for more than one additional bedroom over the number required by the application of Subsection (F)(8)(a) through (d) of this section.
G. 
Continuing marketing. Marketing activities to ensure a pool of income eligible applications shall continue following completion of initial occupancy. Such activities shall be in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:93-11.5.
H. 
Monitoring. The Borough of Essex Fells shall comply with the monitoring and reporting requirements of N.J.A.C. 5:93-11.6 and 12.1. The housing administrator shall either submit the appropriate documentation to the Borough so that the monitoring and reporting requirements can be fulfilled or shall submit the monitoring and reporting documentation directly to COAH.