Editor's Note: For additional provisions regarding affordable housing, see Art. XXI, Inclusionary Zoning.
The purpose of this article is to set forth standards and procedures to ensure that the affordable housing required under the Zoning Ordinance of the Borough of Fort Lee is developed for and made affordable to low- and moderate-income households. All affordable units shall meet the requirements of this article.
All developers who have an affordable housing obligation shall be required to comply with this article. Specifically, this article shall apply to the R-10A and R-12 Zones. No subdivision approval, site plan approval or building permit shall be granted to a developer having an affordable housing obligation unless the developer participates in the production of affordable housing pursuant to this article.
All developers who are required to build affordable housing units, whether on the tract or elsewhere, shall construct such units in accordance with the following minimum schedule:
Pursuant to this schedule, the developer may construct the first 25% of the free-market units without constructing housing units. Certificates of occupancy for the remaining free-market units shall not be issued unless the developer has obtained certificates of occupancy for the affordable housing units in compliance with the above schedule.
In the event that a developer enters into an agreement with the Borough providing a stricter schedule for the construction of affordable units, such agreement shall control.
The Borough shall appoint an Affordable Housing Official who will be responsible for monitoring and implementing the provisions of this article and assuring that the affordable housing units remain affordable to low- and moderate-income households.
No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for an affordable housing unit without the written approval of the Affordable Housing Official. Such approval shall be denied unless the unit is subject to a deed restriction and mortgage lien, in a form adopted by the Council on Affordable Housing, which assure that the unit will remain affordable to low- or moderate-income households for a period of at least 30 years.
No affordable housing unit shall be sold or resold, rented or re-rented, without the written approval of the Affordable Housing Official. In order to obtain such approval, the seller or lessor shall be required to demonstrate that the proposed sale or lease complies in all respects with the provisions of this article and the regulations of the Council on Affordable Housing.
Every development subject to the requirements of this article shall contain equal number of low- and moderate-income units. The maximum average unit and price of low- and moderate-income units within a development shall be affordable to households earning 57.5% of median income, as calculated pursuant to the regulations of the Council on Affordable Housing. Moderate-income sales units shall be available for at least three different prices and low-income sales units shall be available for at least two different prices. Developers of rental units may establish one rent for a low-income unit and one rent for a moderate-income unit for each bedroom distribution.
Every development subject to the requirements of this article shall establish a distribution for the number of bedrooms in the affordable housing units such that:
None of the affordable housing units in any development subject to this article shall be age-restricted without the prior approval of the Affordable Housing Official. Such approval shall be granted only if no more than 25% of the Borough's fair share obligation (after any transfers made under a regional contribution agreement) will be met by age-restricted units.
In the event that there are more applicants for affordable housing in any development than there are vacancies for such housing, the units shall initially be made available to low- and moderate-income households currently living or working in the region consisting of Bergen County, Hudson County, Passaic County and Sussex County. For initial occupancy priority, households shall be screened according to the above preference. Those households qualifying for priority shall be offered contracts of sale and/or lease first and before other income eligible households. When housing units have been purchased or leased by all households qualifying according to the priority standards, the remaining income eligible applicants, not yet under contract, shall be pooled and offered contracts. Within all rounds of applicant selection, random selection of eligible applicants shall prevail.
Initial prices and rents. The initial price of an affordable owner-occupied housing unit shall be established so that after a down payment of 5%, the monthly principal, interest, taxes, insurance and condominium or homeowner fees do not exceed 28% of eligible gross monthly income. Master deeds shall regulate condominium or homeowner fees or special assessments of owners of affordable units at a specific percentage of those paid by market-unit owners, which shall be at least 1/3 of the fees paid by market-unit owners. Initial rents, including an allowance for utilities, shall be set so as not to exceed 30% of the gross monthly income of the appropriate household size. Tenant-paid utilities that are included in the utility allowance shall be so stated in the lease and the allowance shall be consistent with the utility allowance approved by HUD for use in New Jersey. Gross monthly income shall be calculated based upon the uncapped Section 8 income limits published by HUD. The following criteria shall be used in determining maximum rents and sale prices:
Efficiency units shall be affordable to one-person households;
One-bedroom units shall be affordable to one-and-five-tenths-person households;
Two-bedroom units shall be affordable to three-person households;
Three-bedroom units shall be affordable to four-and-five-tenths-person households.
Annual indexed increases. The price of an owner-occupied unit may increase annually based on the percentage increase in the regional median income limit for the housing region. In no event shall the maximum resale price be lower than the last recorded purchase price. With the exception of rentals constructed pursuant to low-income tax credit regulations, the rent of a low- or moderate-income unit may be increased annually based on the percentage increase in the Housing Consumer Price Index for the United States. This increase shall not exceed 9% in any one year. Rents for units constructed pursuant to low-income tax credit regulations shall be indexed pursuant to the regulations governing low-income tax credits.
Eligible capital improvements. Property owners of owner-occupied affordable housing units may apply to the Affordable Housing Official for permission to increase the maximum price for eligible capital improvements. Eligible capital improvements shall be those that render the unit suitable for a larger household. In no event shall the maximum price of an improved housing unit exceed the limits of affordability of the larger household.
Persons wishing to sell affordable units shall notify the Affordable Housing Official of the intent to sell. If no eligible buyer enters a contract of sale for the unit within 90 days of notification, the Borough and the housing authority shall have the option to purchase the unit for a negotiated price not to exceed the maximum price permitted based on the regional increase in median income as defined by HUD. If neither the Borough nor the housing authority purchases the unit, the seller may apply for permission to offer the unit to a non-income-eligible household at the maximum price permitted. The seller shall document efforts to sell the unit to an income-eligible household as part of this application. If the request is granted, the seller may offer a low-income housing unit to a moderate-income household and a moderate-income housing unit to households earning in excess of 80% of median. In no case shall the seller be permitted to receive more than the maximum price permitted. In no case shall a sale pursuant to this section eliminate the resale controls on the unit or permit any subsequent seller to convey the unit except in full compliance with the terms of this article.
A judgment of foreclosure or a deed in lieu of foreclosure to a financial institution regulated by state and/or federal law or to a lender on the secondary mortgage market affordable housing units provided there is compliance with Subsection B of this section. Notice of foreclosure shall allow the Borough or the housing authority to purchase the affordable housing unit at the maximum permitted sales price and maintain it as an affordable unit for the balance of the intended period of controls.
In the event of a foreclosure sale, the owner of the affordable housing unit shall be personally obligated to pay into the Affordable Housing Trust Fund any surplus funds, but only to the extent that such surplus funds exceed the difference between the maximum price permitted at the time of foreclosure and the amount necessary to redeem the debt to the financial institution, including costs of foreclosure.
Every development subject to the requirements of this article shall submit an affirmative marketing program designed to disseminate information regarding the availability of low- and moderate-income units. The program shall comply with N.J.A.C. 5:93-11.1 and 5:93-11.3 and shall include at least the following:
Advertisements in local newspapers, including the Sun Bulletin, Bergen Record, Jersey Journal and Herald News.
Notification to local agencies and organizations, including the Public Welfare Departments and Social Services Boards in Bergen, Passaic, Sussex and Hudson Counties, the Health and Welfare Council of Bergen County, the Human Services Planning Council of Bergen County, the Fair Housing Council of Bergen County, the Bergen County Chapter of Urban League and the Bergen County Housing Authority.
Posting of notices in the Borough Hall.
Delivery of notices to the Municipal Clerks of all municipalities in Bergen, Passaic, Sussex and Hudson Counties.
The affirmative marketing program shall commence at least four months prior to expected occupancy and shall continue until all low- and moderate-income units are under contract of sale or lease.