Last week the New Jersey legislature passed bill A500 which eliminated the use of Regional Contribution Agreements (RCA’s).
RCA’s were agreements that more affluent municipalities entered into with less well off towns, in order to transfer some of the more affluent town’s affordable housing obligations.
Towns like Middletown would enter into agreements to pay other municipalities like Red Bank or Lakewood $20,000 -$35,000 per housing unit, in order to skirt there responsibilities under COAH to fund affordable housing in such towns as Middletown.
At first glance RCA’s seemed like a good idea until towns like Middletown started to abuse the system. Middletown would enter into agreements with other towns and never transfer funds, causing towns like Red Bank to cancel their agreements with Middletown.
Since 1985, Middletown has needed to built approx. 39 units a year of affordable housing to stay in compliance with COAH, but they have chosen not to.
Mayor Scharfenberger and the rest of the Middletown GOP used every trick within their means not to build affordable housing in Middletown and now it has come back to bite them in the ass.
Matt Morehead, Chairman of the Bayshore Young Dems, has been a leading voice on this issue for the past year and has posted on his A Voice for the Youth blog a series of posts that explain, better than I can, Middletowns plight and some of the history behind this issue.
Please take a look at it. This information is very important and needs to be understood to be placed within it’s proper perspective.