Township of Bernards, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 21-76.1, Number of Lower Income Dwelling Units Required, Ord. #704, § 1110A, as amended, former § 21-76.2, Affordability and Controls on Affordability, Ord. #830, § 10, as amended, and former § 21-76.3, Phasing of Lower Income Housing, Ord. #830, § 10, were repealed by Ord. #2117, § 4, 6-26-2010. See now Section 21-85, Affordable Housing Obligation.
[Ord. #830, § 10; Ord. #2021, 7-15-2008, amended]
a. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to create the administrative mechanisms needed for the execution of the Township of Bernards' responsibility to assist in the provision of affordable housing pursuant to the Fair Housing Act of 1985.
b. 
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 Bernards 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 Bernards.
c. 
Establishment of Municipal Housing Liaison position and compensation; powers and duties.
1. 
Establishment of position of Municipal Housing Liaison. There is hereby established the position of Municipal Housing Liaison for the Township of Bernards.
2. 
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.
3. 
The Municipal Housing Liaison shall be responsible for oversight and administration of the affordable housing program for the Township of Bernards, including the following responsibilities which may not be contracted out, exclusive of Subparagraph c3(f), which may be contracted out:
(a) 
Serving as the Township of Bernards primary point of contact for all inquiries from the state, affordable housing providers, administrative agents, and interested households.
(b) 
Monitoring the status of all restricted units in the Township of Bernards Fair Share Plan.
(c) 
Compiling, verifying, and submitting annual reports as required by COAH.
(d) 
Coordinating meetings with affordable housing providers and administrative agents, as applicable.
(e) 
Attending continuing education opportunities on affordability controls, compliance monitoring, and affirmative marketing as offered or approved by COAH.
(f) 
If applicable, serving as the administrative agent for some or all of the restricted units in the Township of Bernards as described in Subparagraph c6 below.
4. 
Subject to approval by COAH, the Township of Bernards 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 Bernards, except for those responsibilities which may not be contracted out pursuant to Subparagraph c3 above. If the Township of Bernards 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.
5. 
Compensation. Compensation shall be fixed by the governing body at the time of the appointment of the Municipal Housing Liaison.
6. 
Administrative powers and duties assigned to the Municipal Housing Liaison.
(a) 
Affirmative marketing.
(1) 
Conducting an outreach process to insure affirmative marketing of affordable housing units in accordance with the Affirmative Marketing Plan of the Township of Bernards and the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.15; and
(2) 
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.
(b) 
Household certification.
(1) 
Soliciting, scheduling, conducting and following up on interviews with interested households;
(2) 
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;
(3) 
Providing written notification to each applicant as to the determination of eligibility or noneligibility;
(4) 
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.;
(5) 
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
(6) 
Employing the random selection process as provided in the Affirmative Marketing Plan of the Township of Bernards when referring households for certification to affordable units.
(c) 
Affordability controls.
(1) 
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;
(2) 
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;
(3) 
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;
(4) 
Communicating with lenders regarding foreclosures; and
(5) 
Ensuring the issuance of continuing certificates of occupancy or certifications pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.10.
(d) 
Resale and rental.
(1) 
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; and
(2) 
Instituting and maintaining an effective means of communicating information to low- and moderate-income households regarding the availability of restricted units for resale or rerental.
(e) 
Processing request from unit owners.
(1) 
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;
(2) 
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; and
(3) 
Processing requests and making determinations on requests by owners of restricted units for hardship waivers.
(f) 
Enforcement.
(1) 
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;
(2) 
Securing from all developers and sponsors of restricted units, at the earliest point of contact in the processing of the project or development, written acknowledgement 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;
(3) 
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;
(4) 
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;
(5) 
Establishing a program for diverting unlawful rent payments to the municipality's affordable housing trust fund or other appropriate municipal fund approved by the DCA;
(6) 
Creating and publishing a written operating manual, as approved by COAH, setting forth procedures for administering such affordability controls; and
(7) 
Providing annual reports to COAH as required.
(g) 
The administrative agent shall have authority to take all actions necessary and appropriate to carry out its responsibilities hereunder.
[Ord. #830, § 10; Ord. #892; Ord. #1103, § 65]
a. 
Reserved.
b. 
Notice of Available Units. When a developer is ready to accept applications for initial occupancy of lower-income housing units, he shall so notify the Municipal Housing Liaison. Subject to Paragraph i herein, the Municipal Housing Liaison shall promptly mail notices to persons ("housing applicants") having applications for lower income housing on file, informing them that a number of such units are about to become available, and requiring that they file with the Municipal Housing Liaison current information to enable the Municipal Housing Liaison to determine their income qualifications for such housing and their eligibility for initial occupancy preference. Such notice shall specify a deadline, at least 14 calendar days after mailing of the notice, by which the requested information must be received by the Municipal Housing Liaison.
[Ord. #2021, 7-15-2008, amended]
c. 
Notice of Eligibility. After the deadline specified in the notice to housing applicants, the Municipal Housing Liaison shall determine the income qualifications of those housing applicants who have furnished the requested information, shall forward to the developer the names, addresses, priority numbers, and eligibility for initial occupancy preference, of income-qualified housing applicants and shall notify all housing applicants in writing as to whether or not they are income-qualified.
[Ord. #2021, 7-15-2008, amended]
d. 
Random Selection and Priority Numbers. If the number of income-qualified housing applicants exceeds the number of lower-income housing units expected to become available, the Municipal Housing Liaison shall randomly assign priority numbers to each such housing applicant, and the developer shall, subject to the provisions of this Subsection 21-76.5, offer contracts of purchase or lease to such applicants in their assigned order of priority, subject to Paragraph a herein, until all lower-income housing units which are about to become available are under contract. After all lower-income housing units contemplated in the then current housing element of the Township's master plan have been initially occupied or placed under contract or lease for initial occupancy, subsequent housing applicants shall receive priority numbers in the order in which their applications are received by the housing authority.
[Ord. #2021, 7-15-2008, amended]
e. 
Rounds of Applicant Selection. As used in this Subsection 21-76.5, a "round of applicant selection" shall mean a period of time which ends when either: (1) a developer notifies the Municipal Housing Liaison that it is ready to accept applications for initial occupancy of lower-income housing units; or (2) an owner of a lower-income housing unit notifies the Municipal Housing Liaison of an intent to resell or lease a lower-income housing unit; and with respect to which the Municipal Housing Liaison undertakes the procedures specified in this subsection for selection of applicants to receive contract offers for such units.
[Ord. #2021, 7-15-2008, amended]
f. 
Retention of Assigned Priority. Once the Municipal Housing Liaison has randomly assigned a priority number to a housing applicant in a round of applicant selection, the housing applicant shall retain the same priority for future rounds of applicant selection, unless the housing applicant loses priority according to Paragraph j herein.
[Ord. #2021, 7-15-2008, amended]
g. 
Housing Applicants from Initial Round. All housing applicants whose applications were filed on or before April 14, 1987, shall be deemed to have been part of the initial round of applicant selection. Before proceeding under any new round of applicant selection, the Municipal Housing Liaison shall randomly assign priority numbers to all housing applicants remaining from said initial round who have not done anything which would cause a loss of priority under Paragraph j below.
[Ord. #2021, 7-15-2008, amended]
h. 
Housing Applicants From Second and Subsequent Rounds.
1. 
Housing Applicants From Second Round. All housing applicants whose applications were filed after April 14, 1987, but before September 22, 1987, shall be deemed to have been part of the second round of applicant selection. Before proceeding under any new round of applicant selection, the Municipal Housing Liaison shall randomly assign priority number to all housing applicants remaining from said second round who have not done anything which would cause a loss of priority according to subsection 21-76.5j.
[Ord. #2021, 7-15-2008, amended]
2. 
Housing Applicants from Subsequent Rounds. All housing applicants whose applications were filed on or after September 22, 1987, but no later than March 31, 1989, shall be deemed to have been part of the third round of applicant selection. All subsequent rounds of applicant selection shall be determined according to Subsection 21-76.5e.
i. 
Number of Notices. If the number of housing applicants having applications on file at the time a round of applicant selection begins exceeds 150% of the number of lower-income housing units expected to become available in such round, the Municipal Housing Liaison shall not be required to send notices under Paragraph b above to all such housing applicants, but instead shall send such notices to a number of housing applicants equal to 150% of the number of such units. Such notices shall be sent to housing applicants in the order of their assigned priority, until such number of notices has been sent. If such mailing results in fewer income-qualified housing applicants than the number of available units, or fewer signed contracts than the number of available units, or fewer than the maximum number of households eligible for the initial occupancy preference under Paragraph a above, the Municipal Housing Liaison shall send such number of additional notices under Paragraph b above as he or she deems appropriate in order to obtain sufficient numbers of income-qualified housing applicants for those purposes.
[Ord. #2021, 7-15-2008, amended]
j. 
Loss of Priority:
1. 
Any housing applicant who declines an offer of a contract to purchase a lower-income housing unit appropriate to the applicant's household size and income, whether for initial occupancy or on resale, shall lose all priority with respect to purchases, shall no longer be considered to have an application on file for purpose of purchases, and must submit a new application in order to again become eligible to purchase lower-income housing.
2. 
Any housing applicant who declines an offer to lease a lower-income housing unit appropriate to the applicant's household size and income shall lose all priority with respect to rental units, shall no longer be considered to have an application on file for purposes of rental units, and must submit a new application in order to again become eligible to lease lower-income housing.
3. 
A housing applicant does not lose priority with respect to leasing a lower-income housing unit by declining an offer of a contract to purchase such a unit. A housing applicant does not lose priority with respect to purchasing a lower-income unit by declining an offer to lease such a unit.
4. 
A housing applicant who either purchases, or signs a lease for, a lower-income housing unit shall be removed from the priority list with respect to both purchasing and leasing of units.
5. 
A housing applicant who fails to respond by the stated deadline to a notice from the Municipal Housing Liaison pursuant to Paragraph b above, or one who, having responded, is found to have too high an income to be eligible for such housing, shall no longer be considered to have an application on file, and must submit a new application in order to again become eligible to purchase or lease lower-income housing.
[Ord. #2021, 7-15-2008, amended]
6. 
The application of any housing applicant who, having been offered a contract to purchase a lower-income housing unit, fails to qualify for a mortgage, shall be placed on inactive status with respect to purchases. Such applicant shall retain the priority number assigned pursuant to this article, but shall not receive any further notices for purchase of units under Paragraph b above unless and until the housing applicant first submits to the Municipal Housing Liaison evidence of changed circumstances which, in the judgment of the Municipal Housing Liaison, are likely to enable the housing applicant to qualify for the mortgage financing necessary to purchase such a unit. The application of such applicant shall remain active with respect to rental units.
[Ord. #2021, 7-15-2008, amended]
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Editor's Note: Former § 21-76.6, Procedures of Resale, Ord. #830, § 10, as amended, former § 21-76.7, Procedures for Leasing, Ord. #830, § 10, as amended, former § 21-76.8, Reporting Requirements for Rental Units, Ord. #830, § 10, as amended, former § 21-76.9, Violations of Rules, Ord. #830, § 10, former § 21-76.10, Affirmative Marketing, Ord. #830, § 10, as amended, former § 21-76.11, Conversion of Rental Units, Ord. #830, § 10, former § 21-76.12, Compliance with COAH Regulations, Ord. #830, § 10, former § 21-76.13, Housing Fees, § 68, former § 21-76.14, Certificate of Occupancy, Ord. #1103, § 68, as amended and former § 21-76.15, Deposits by Purchasers, Ord. #1103, § 68, were repealed by Ord. #2117, § 4, 6-26-2010. See now . In addition, former § 21-76.16, Affordable Housing Development Fees, which immediately followed § 21-76.15, was redesignated as Section 21-86 by Ord. #2117, § 3, 6-26-2010. See now Section 21-85, Affordable Housing Obligation.