Schepisi: Nonsense like THIS fuels New Jersey’s affordable housing dysfunction

I represent 23 municipalities located in Bergen and Passaic counties, all of which have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on professional fees as a result of the failure and inaction of our State to provide guidance on how to comply with Court decisions on affordable housing.

The largest drivers of cost result from third party “intervenors” appearing and demanding to build large numbers of market rate units in exchange for providing a small number of affordable units.

One of these intervenors is a non-profit organization Fair Share Housing.

This non-profit has been granted enormous power in our State and has been dictating settlement terms for almost all of our municipalities. Their deceptive practices are similar to certain retail clothing stores that used to raise their prices by 40 percent immediately before a “30 percent sale.”

Indeed, Fair Share put forth a report that is being relied upon by our Courts which states, among other things, that NJ needs 280,000 units of affordable housing. Our community leaders have all reached out seeking help and guidance on how to handle this issue.

In an effort to start dialogue on this topic I decided to host a bipartisan group of hearings. I invited Fair Share so that their point of view could be heard.

Rather than attend or call or meet with me they choose to personally attack and bully me. A copy of their extremely unprofessional letter is attached:

If you ever wonder why the large issues in NJ never get addressed, it is because of nonsense like this.

I urge every municipality fighting their numbers to use a copy of this letter as one of their exhibits.