COAH Directs Franklin Boro to Refund Affordable Housing Fees to Family

Proposes Exemption for Rebuilt Owner-occupied Homes from Growth Share Obligations

TRENTON – The Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) today directed Franklin Borough (Sussex County) to refund fees to a family in the municipality who wished to rebuild their home after it was demolished due to substantial damage from fire in March 2008.  The Borough intended to charge a payment in lieu fee of $17,500 on the construction of the new home.  This fee, however, is prohibited under COAH’s revised third round regulations.

“I appreciate Senator Oroho reaching out to me on this issue so that we could work together to help this family after their tragic experience,” said Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Joseph Doria.  “The Board’s action today shows a dedication to protecting New Jersey residents and willingness to work with legislators and municipalities to resolve these kinds of important issues.”

Additionally, Franklin Borough requested that COAH waive the new construction of the unit from the calculation of its growth share obligation.  COAH granted this waiver at today’s meeting.  To ensure that municipalities do not charge homeowners who are rebuilding homes resulting from fire, flood, or natural disaster, COAH proposed an amendment to its rules that would exempt these units from the municipal growth share obligation and exempt the homeowners from the imposition of a development fee.  The rule proposal exempts owner-occupied homes that are rebuilt from growth share obligations.  The proposed rule is scheduled to be published in the October 20, 2008 New Jersey Register and open for a public comment period until January 2, 2009.

COAH, an affiliate of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, facilitates the production of sound, affordable housing for low and moderate income households by providing the most effective process to municipalities, housing providers, nonprofit and for profit developers to address a constitutional obligation within the framework of sound, comprehensive planning.

Further information on COAH’s revised rules is available by logging on to