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Colts Neck Township Committee approves affordable housing settlement

COLTS NECK – Township Committee members have agreed to settle issues with the Fair Share Housing Center that are related to Colts Neck’s obligation to provide opportunities for the development of affordable housing in the community.

Affordable housing is defined as housing that is sold or rented at below market prices to individuals and families whose income meets certain guidelines.

During a meeting on March 18, committee members passed a resolution which stated the municipality would agree to settle issues with the Fair Share Housing Center, Cherry Hill.

The Fair Share Housing Center advocates for the construction of affordable housing throughout New Jersey. The center’s directors initiated legal action against municipalities which they asserted had not complied with affordable housing mandates.

Colts Neck officials were facing a court ordered deadline of March 18 to resolve the issues or go to trial.

On a motion to pass the resolution, Mayor Frank Rizzuto, Deputy Mayor Michael Viola, Committeeman J.P. Bartolomeo, Committeewoman Sue Fitzpatrick and Committeeman Tom Orgo voted “yes.”

“We have worked tirelessly and diligently for the last five years,” Bartolomeo said. “I am proud of the decision we made given the circumstances presented to us. This is the best thing we could possibly choose for the township.”

Municipal officials previously said the settlement agreement would state that Colts Neck would permit the construction of 1,280 new housing units in the municipality. They said 1,051 units would be available at market rates and 229 units would be designated as affordable housing.

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