Jan-26-09 Commissioner Doria Addresses Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee
Commissioner Doria Addresses Senate Community and
TRENTON – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Joseph Doria today testified before the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee regarding the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). Commissioner Doria provided details on the history of COAH as well as the process.
"COAH is not mandatory," said Commissioner Doria. “No community in the State of New Jersey has to participate, but submission of a plan gives municipalities protection from a builder's remedy lawsuit."
Commissioner Doria detailed the court cases and legislation that resulted in COAH, including the Mount Laurel decisions and the Fair Housing Act. He also provided information on growth share, the method used under COAH's regulations. Under growth share, municipalities do not have to build affordable housing unless market rate and non-residential development take place. Additionally, he discussed how COAH coordinates with the state plan and the New Jersey Office of Smart Growth and takes into consideration all Department of Environmental Protection regulations.
"COAH is not based on ideology, it is based on practicality and is a rational, reasonable process," said Commissioner Doria. “It is important to keep in mind that we are talking about housing for the hard working men and women of New Jersey and housing that allows children to remain in the communities where they grew up.”