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Freehold Township officials take steps to address affordable housing mandate

FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP – Officials in Freehold Township have adopted measures that will help the municipality meet its state mandated obligation to provide opportunities for the development of affordable housing in the community.

During a June 30 meeting held at the Freehold Township Senior Center, members of the Township Committee passed six resolutions related to affordable housing.

Among the actions taken were the following: Todd Brown was appointed as Freehold Township’s housing liaison; an affordable housing spending plan was adopted; an affirmative marketing plan for affordable housing units was adopted; and a home improvement program policies and procedures manual was adopted.

Affordable housing is defined as housing that is sold or rented at below market rates to individuals and families whose income meets certain guidelines. According to municipal officials, Freehold Township’s obligation is 878 affordable housing units.

The obligation to provide opportunities for the development of affordable housing has been mandated by New Jersey’s courts. The mandate stems from legal matters known as the Mount Laurel rulings that date to the mid-1980s.

According to a spending plan prepared by Thomas Planning Associates, Freehold Township had a balance of $961,069 in its affordable housing trust fund and anticipates receiving an additional $1.27 million in revenue for the trust fund through 2025, for a total of $2.23 million.

Freehold Township officials will dedicate $1.2 million toward rehabilitation, $471,310 for down payment assistance to make housing units more affordable, $300,000 for affordability assistance expiring controls, and $261,759 for administrative costs.

The affirmative marketing plan states it is intended to ensure that Freehold Township’s affordable housing units are properly advertised to all individuals who meet the requirements for affordable housing and are interested in buying or renting the units.

According to the affirmative marketing plan, the administrative agent, acting on behalf of the township, will review, approve and ensure that the developers/sellers/owners publish at least one advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the housing region, undertake the broadcast of one advertisement by a radio or television station broadcasting throughout the housing region, and undertake at least one additional regional marketing strategy listed by the plan.

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