I heard that there are going to be a lot of market rate houses too. Why?

As part of the lawsuit, the intervenors stated that they wanted to provide the Township’s obligation of affordable housing in exchange for being allowed to also build market rate homes. The law typically provides for 15% of rental housing to be affordable, but Hopewell Township was able to reduce this ratio across the board, resulting in less market rate housing for each affordable unit. 

Some people would have liked to see 100% Affordable Housing built.  Others would have been furious if 653 units of 100% Affordable Housing were built in one or two locations.  In the first incarnation of the third-round rules, COAH indicated a preference for “inclusionary” housing, which is housing that is a mix of market and affordable. 

Affordable Housing can be funded either by: 1) offsetting profit from contemporaneously built market rate housing units, 2) through investment via tax credit programs administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, 3) subsidized by a federal program such as HUD, or 4) financed directly by the municipality through taxes.  Hopewell Township’s solution utilizing option 1 ensures that taxes will not be used to pay for this Affordable Housing obligation.

Between the breakdown in NJ's Council of Affordable Housing (COAH) third round process and the resulting lack of rules/funding for Affordable Housing, and new 2018 federal tax plan, which substantially lowers corporate taxes and thus lessens their need for credits to offset profits, relying on tax credit funding is extremely unlikely.  Funding for 100% tax credit projects is awarded after a lengthy and expensive application process and is most often given in amounts to fund no more than 85 units at a time.  Application rounds are usually only announced once every three years and are extremely competitive, especially in this new landscape where every town in New Jersey is being pressured by the Courts to carry out its Affordable Housing Plan. With an obligation of 653 units, the Courts have found that it would not be realistic to rely on 100% Affordable Housing developments, 85 units at a time. 

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1. What is an intervenor?
2. What if The Township didn’t enter the litigation?
3. Why did Hopewell Township agree to a negotiated settlement on Affordable Housing?
4. Why do we have to have more housing? We have enough!
5. Who exactly qualifies for Affordable Housing?
6. I heard that there are going to be a lot of market rate houses too. Why?
7. I don’t object to the 653 Affordable Housing units we need to build, but why didn’t Hopewell Township move forward with 100% Affordable Housing across the Township?
8. Why do we need affordable housing? There are plenty of houses in town that haven’t sold.
9. I heard that it’s just going to be house after house after house. Not that there is anything wrong with housing developments, but shouldn’t it be walkable and maybe some ratables?
10. How soon is this going to happen?
11. Do our taxes have to pay for this?
12. Our schools are already filled up! Are we going to have to build a new school, too?
13. Where will the developments be?
14. Why do you have to build in the southern tier? It’s not fair! We have all the development!
15. I am concerned about how all this new development will impact traffic in Hopewell Township. Why wasn’t this considered upfront?
16. Why do we have to build on the field on the west side of Scotch Road?
17. Why did land have to be classified as a Redevelopment Zone?
18. What if Pennytown had been built? Would we still be getting all of this?
19. If we hadn’t spent the Affordable Trust Fund money on Pennytown, couldn’t we could have paid for all of the affordable housing now required without market rates?
20. What about sewers? I live on Pennington-Washington Crossing Road and my septic system is failing. I thought we were promised no high-density housing near us. What is going to be done to help us?
21. I am concerned that bringing more Affordable Housing to Hopewell Township is going to negatively impact our community and bring down property values.
22. How was the public involved in this process? Is this all a done deal?
23. Questions have been raised recently regarding the PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) agreement for the Zaitz Tract behind the Shop Rite. First, is the Zaitz PILOT a good deal for Hopewell Twp taxpayers?
24. Will Hopewell Township taxes go up because of this PILOT?
25. What’s the impact on our schools?