[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Colts Neck 9-28-1989 (Ch. 26 of the 1969 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Legislature of the State of New Jersey has, in the Fair Housing Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-301 et seq., delegated the authority to local governments to adopt an ordinance to provide a realistic opportunity for sound shelter for low- and moderate-income households.
The Fair Housing Act also requires municipalities to adopt a housing element as part of the municipal master plan adopted pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq., said housing element intended to outline the method(s) by which the municipality will meet its housing obligation under the Act.
The Fair Housing Act created the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), which agency has provided published data on each municipality's fair share obligation.
As required by the Fair Housing Act, Colts Neck has amended its housing element as part of the Master Plan to establish the policy framework for this chapter, also in accordance with a requirement of court decision.
This chapter is intended to facilitate ways in which housing rehabilitation can be completed for low- and moderate-income households within Colts Neck Township in order for the township to meet its indigenous housing obligation.
It is intended to provide a vehicle for eligible homeowners to gain access to the loans from the township's Housing Trust Fund, hereinafter established.
Words and phrases defined in the Fair Housing Act, the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.) and in the substantive rules of COAH (N.J.A.C. 5:92-1.3) shall be incorporated in this chapter as if written herein.
As used in this chapter, 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
Colts Neck to ensure that the restricted units under administration are affirmatively
marketed and sold or rented, as applicable, only to low- and moderate-income
- FAIR HOUSING PROGRAM
- The procedures and provisions of this chapter.
- GROSS INCOME
- The total income of all members of the household, such as but not limited to wages, tips, interest, dividends and retirement programs.
- HOUSING ADMINISTRATOR
- See "Municipal Housing Liaison."[Amended 9-6-2007]
- HOUSING TRUST FUND
- The fund from the process as established by this chapter.
- LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLD
- A household with a gross income equal to less than 50% of the median
household income for households of the same size for the Monmouth, Ocean,
Mercer County region.[Amended 12-11-1996]
- LOW-INCOME HOUSING
- Housing affordable to and occupied or reserved for low-income households
according to COAH or other recognized standards for either home ownership
or rental costs.[Amended 12-11-1996]
- MODERATE-INCOME HOUSEHOLD
- A household with a gross income of 50% or more, but not more than
80% of the median gross household income for households of the same size for
the Monmouth, Ocean, Mercer County region.[Amended 12-11-1996]
- MODERATE-INCOME HOUSING
- Housing affordable to and occupied or reserved for moderate-income
households according to COAH or other recognized standards for either home
ownership or rental costs.[Amended 12-11-1996]
- 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 Colts Neck.[Added 9-6-2007]
- The restoration of a deficient dwelling unit to a safe and sanitary condition as provided for by this chapter.
- A living room, dining room, recreation room, kitchen and bedroom (closets, bathrooms, cellars and attics shall be excluded), except where portions have been improved to meet housing and building code requirements for rooms.
There is hereby established in the Township of Colts Neck a Housing Trust Fund, hereinafter known as "the fund," by the township, which shall have as its purpose to subsidize rehabilitation of existing substandard housing and provide funds for the costs of administering the fund. Nothing contained herein shall either require or prevent application for participation in federal or state rehabilitation programs by the township or any individual or the provision of township budgetary appropriations for rehabilitation of housing, which appropriations may be used to supplement the fund. The trustees of the fund shall be the Township Committee.
The fund shall be available for housing rehabilitation.
The funds shall be disbursed as deferred loans for rehabilitating deficient dwelling units owned and occupied by qualified low- and moderate-income households.
The funds shall be disbursed at zero interest, deferred-payment loans for rehabilitating deficient dwelling units owned and occupied by qualified low- and moderate-income households. The principal is to be repaid upon the sale or other transfer to title of the dwelling unit, except that if the owner or the owner's heirs (whether such heirs are low- or moderate-income eligible or not) occupy the dwelling unit for at least six years following certification by the Construction Official that the unit complies with all relevant codes, the loan shall be deemed a grant and no repayment shall be required. In the event, however, that the dwelling unit shall be sold or transferred prior to the expiration of such six-year period, the loan shall be repaid without interest, and the amount to be repaid shall be prorated on a per diem basis as to the unexpired portion of the six-year period as of such sale or transfer.
The funds shall be disbursed at zero interest as deferred-payment loans for the rehabilitation of deficient dwelling units owned by a lessor and occupied by either a low- or a moderate-income household. The principal is to be repaid upon the sale or other transfer of title of the dwelling unit. If the unit is not, however, sold or transferred after 10 years from the date of such certification, the loan shall be deemed a grant and no repayment shall be required. If the unit is sold, however, within such ten-year period, the loan shall be repaid without interest, and the amount to be repaid shall be prorated on a per diem basis as to the unexpired portion of the ten-year period as of the date of such sale or transfer.
Funding shall be provided by any or all of the following sources: township appropriations, state and federal grants and loans, gifts, developer contributions and other sources that the Township Committee deems appropriate.
Only owners of dwelling units within the Township of Colts Neck shall be eligible for the assistance offered by this chapter.
The homeowner, as a member of either a low- or moderate-income household who lives in the dwelling unit to be rehabilitated, or a lessor who rents a dwelling unit to either a low- or moderate-income household shall be eligible for the assistance offered under this chapter, provided that the lessor agrees to rent the rehabilitated dwelling unit to a low- or moderate-income household for the required minimum period of time at rental amounts permitted by COAH rules and regulations. Proof of income of the household occupying the rehabilitated unit shall be required by the Housing Administrator.
A dwelling unit proposed to be rehabilitated shall be considered substandard as determined by the Township Construction Official, or his or her designee, on the basis of standards established by COAH regulations.
The homeowner must agree, in writing, to comply with all requirements of this chapter and the rules and regulations established by COAH, and other applicable ordinances of the Township of Colts Neck, at the time the agreement for the assistance offered by this chapter is signed.
Homeowners who use the provisions of this chapter shall be entitled to the following rights and obligations:
The right to apply for and receive special property tax assessment treatment in accordance with the recommendations and/or requirements of COAH.
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B, regarding deed restrictions, as amended 11-8-1995, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed by an ordinance of 12-11-1996.
The obligation to sell or rent the dwelling unit at prices within the range of affordability as set forth by COAH for the period of the deed restriction. Increases in the affordability controls (i.e., prices or rents) may be granted by the Township Committee upon written application to and review by the Housing Administrator, assuring compliance with COAH requirements for changes in the affordability controls.
In the event that financial assistance is not available for every applicant, 50% of the available assistance shall be awarded to applications for low-income households in preference to applications for moderate-income households.
[Amended 10-8-1997; 3-8-2006]
No financial assistance from the fund shall be dispersed to any applicant without full compliance with the requirements of this chapter and other applicable regulations. Any person who violates or who fails to comply with this chapter or the other applicable regulations shall be punishable as provided in § 1-9 of this Code, and, as part of the penalty, shall make restitution of any and all funds paid from the Housing Trust Fund. Nothing herein shall prevent the Township from taking such other lawful action as is necessary to prevent or remedy any violation.
[Amended 12-11-1996; 9-6-2007]
Establishment of position of Municipal Housing Liaison. There is hereby established the position of Municipal Housing Liaison for the Township of Colts Neck.
Subject to the approval of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), the Municipal Housing Liaison shall be appointed by the governing body and may be a full- or part-time municipal employee.
The Municipal Housing Liaison shall be responsible for oversight and administration of the affordable housing program for the Township of Colts Neck, including the following responsibilities:
Serving as the Township of Colts Neck's primary point of contact for all inquiries from the state, affordable housing providers, administrative agents, and interested households;
Monitoring the status of all restricted units in the Township of Colts Neck's Fair Share Plan;
Compiling, verifying, and submitting annual reports as required by COAH;
Coordinating meetings with affordable housing providers and administrative agents, as applicable;
Attending continuing education opportunities on affordability controls, compliance monitoring, and affirmative marketing as offered or approved by COAH;
Subject to approval by COAH, the Township of Colts Neck 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 Colts Neck, except for those responsibilities which may not be contracted out pursuant to Subsection C above. If the Township of Colts Neck 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.
Compensation. Compensation shall be fixed by the governing body at the time of the appointment of the Municipal Housing Liaison.
Administrative powers and duties assigned to the Municipal Housing Liaison:
Conducting an outreach process to insure affirmative marketing of affordable housing units in accordance with the Affirmative Marketing Plan of the Township of Colts Neck and the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.15; and
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.
Soliciting, scheduling, conducting and following up on interviews with interested households;
Conducting interviews and obtaining sufficient documentation of gross income and assets upon which to base a determination of income eligibility for a low- or moderate-income unit;
Providing written notification to each applicant as to the determination of eligibility or noneligibility;
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 Appendices J and K of N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.1 et seq.;
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; and
Employing the random selection process as provided in the Affirmative Marketing Plan of Colts Neck Township when referring households for certification to affordable units.
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;
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.
Application and other required forms shall be made available at the office of the Housing Administrator. Technical assistance shall be available from that office to assist applicants in completing and submitting an application. There shall be no fee for filing an application.
Upon determination of completeness, the Housing Administrator shall determine whether the applicant meets the eligibility criteria.
Upon a determination that the applicant is eligible under the program, the Construction Official, or his or her designee, shall inspect the property to determine whether it qualifies as deficient under this chapter.
Upon determination that the dwelling unit is deficient, a written description of the work required to be completed in order to meet the criteria of this chapter and related health and safety codes, and a copy submitted to the applicant and to the Housing Administrator to be kept as part of the applicants file.
Upon receipt of this description of work required to be completed, the applicant shall indicate any discrepancies or omissions, in writing, to the Construction Official. The Construction Official shall review the applicant's comments and provide a written response, including any appropriate adjustments to the original report. A copy of this response shall be submitted to the applicant with a copy to the Housing Administrator to be kept as part of the applicant's file.
Upon review of the contractor's written proposal and cost estimate, the Housing Administrator and Construction Official shall either approve, disapprove or modify the proposal as might be appropriate to meet the requirements of this chapter and requirements of this program and the judgment of both as to the reasonableness of the cost. If the proposal is modified or disapproved, the applicant and the contractor may meet with the Housing Administrator and the Construction Official to make appropriate modifications until the application is approved.
Upon approval of the work to be performed and the related cost, together with the eligibility of the applicant, all contracts shall be executed and administered under the following procedures:
The contract between the applicant and the township shall cover the amount of loan, the purpose of the loan, the deed restrictions and affordability controls, payback requirements for any loans, penalties for noncompliance and such other requirements of the program as required by law or approved by the Township Committee.
The construction contract with the contractor and the property owner/landlord shall outline the work to be performed, the cost and the time of performance.
All contract payments from the fund shall be made by the township to the contractor in accordance with the provisions of the contract outlined in Subsection B(2) above, subject to a posted surety guaranty that the money will go toward completion of work included in the application and the contract and will be satisfactorily completed in accordance with Subsection D.
Following completion of the work, the inspection officer shall inspect the dwelling unit and certify whether or not the work has been satisfactorily completed. If the work is sufficient, a certificate of occupancy shall be issued. If the work is insufficient, the contractor shall be notified and given 90 days to remedy the conditions cited. If the conditions are not corrected within 90 days, the township shall be authorized to either acquire and use the proceeds of the guaranty filed by the contractor or such other remedies as appropriate.