Low-income housing measure passes

Trenton. Hal Wirths-sponsored bill to allow municipaliteis to accept PILOT or subsidized low-income housing beyond the term of the project's mortgage has passed the Assembly and awaits the governor's signature.

| 23 Dec 2019 | 02:19

    The Assembly voted 77-0 to advance a bill , sponsored by Assemblyman Hal Wirths to allow municipalities to accept payment-in-lieu-of-taxes for state or federally-subsidized low-income housing beyond the term of the housing project’s mortgage.

    The town of Sparta established such an agreement with a low-income senior housing project; however, it became nullified when the housing complex paid off its mortgage sooner than expected.

    “Our vulnerable and income-limited seniors need affordable housing and this bill will help ensure they are able to live in the place they have called home for many years,” said Wirths (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris).

    According to the Department of Human Services, more than half of retired elder‐only households in New Jersey lack annual incomes that will insulate them against poverty as they age.

    The bill amends the Long Term Tax Exemption Law and the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency Law of 1983 to allow state or federally-subsidized housing projects to receive a tax exemption beyond the current requirement of up to 35 years or until the expiration of its first mortgage. In lieu of property taxes, each housing project must pay 20 percent of annual gross revenue from each project situated on the property for each year of operation.

    The Senate version of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Steve Oroho, passed unanimously in December 2018. Assemblyman Parker Space is a cosponsor. It now goes to the governor for his consideration.