Numerous towns in Monmouth and Ocean Counties still have millions left in their Coalition on Affordable Housing (COAH) Trust Fund which could be lost if it’s not used in time. However, Marlboro isn’t parting with its thirteen million dollars until Trenton lays out a better framework on what the money can be used for.

Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik

Towns have until July 12th to commit the cash for affordable housing projects or else it goes back to the state, however Marlboro Mayor Jonathan Hornik believes the state has not right to take the money.

“They’re required by law, by court order to put forth rules and regulations to tell towns how to comply with their third round of affordable housing obligations.”

He notes the money was collected by towns to comply with their affordable housing requirements, and the only reason Marlboro hasn’t complied with its obligation is because the state hasn’t created a set of rules or regulations which they can work within.

“This decision, to let the statute expire and take the 265 million which is state wide total [of COAH Trust Fund Money] has nothing to do with affordable housing. It’s a money grab.”

Hornik says when those rules are released; Marlboro will create a plan that uses all of its COAH Trust Fund money.

“It’s quite unfair for the state government and the governor to be saying that will be taking the COAH Trust Fund money without giving towns the guidance necessary.”

The Mayor notes that right now, no one can comply with the NOAH affordable housing obligations.

“This is nothing more than a money grab, to grab money for the state coffers to remove it from the municipalities and quite frankly I think it’s unfair. “

Hornik says that if nothing is done by the state come the July 12th deadline, the town will pursue their legal options.

“I will protect the Marlboro residents from the state taking funds that are rightfully owned and for the beneficial interest of the residents.” Adding “this money has been saved to help Marlboro comply with its affordable housing obligations; it’s not there for the state to sweep down and take for its own coffers.”

He notes when the former rules and regulations were active (which were found to be illegal), Marlboro submitted a plan that used every single dollar of its COAH trust fund money.

“We will spend the money, it’s not as if the towns are sitting here on their hands, not spending it and deferring. What’s happened here is the state has failed in its mission to provide guidance to the towns. Which they are required to do by court order.”

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