Fair Share Housing Center, a nonprofit dedicated to defending the housing rights of New Jersey’s poor and ensuring municipalities provide affordable housing, is seeking to bar four developers from renting, selling, or transferring vacant units until they meet their affordable housing requirements.
According to the motion filed before the Appellate Division of New Jersey, FSHC is asking the court to require the developers of Park + Garden, Vine Hoboken, Harlow, and the Artisan on Clinton to provide the 56 affordable homes required by Hoboken’s affordable housing ordinance.
This follows a similar motion filed by Hoboken at the end of March asking for the same relief.
The litigation over these 56 units has gone on for almost a decade, and twice courts have ruled that the affordable housing must be provided.
Most recently, in September of 2020, a three-judge panel upheld the city of Hoboken’s affordable housing ordinance, rejecting claims from developers that it was invalid, reversing a 2015 ruling that said the developers did not need to provide the 10 percent set aside of affordable housing.
According to FSHC, Park & Garden needs to provide 22 of its 212 units as affordable housing, Vine Hoboken needs to provide 14 of its 135 units as affordable housing, The Harlow needs to provide 14 of its 140 units as affordable housing, and The Artisan on Clinton needs to provide six of its 59 units as affordable housing.
According to the March 30 brief filed by the cit, the City of Hoboken has corresponded with all the developers “in an effort to ascertain how each intends to comply with the AHO” and “the city has been informed that none of the developers intend to comply with the AHO in any manner.”
The developers responded that they would file a petition to the Supreme Court seeking its review of the Appellate Division’s final decision.
“None of the Developers have obtained or even sought injunctive relief. There is no stay in place. There is also absolutely nothing which prohibits or impedes the ability of the Developers from complying with the Appellate Division judgment,” states the brief. “The Developers simply dislike the result and refuse to comply with the judgment.”
The city is looking to the courts to enforce its rights and compel compliance as well as attorney fees “because this motion should not be necessary.”
Signing on to the litigation with its April 9 motion, FSHC joins the city in asking the courts to require the developers to immediately comply.
“Over the near-decade that the developers have refused to provide the 56 affordable homes, they have profited by building and renting out to the wealthiest individuals the homes that should currently be occupied by working families,” states FSHC attorney in its brief. “In short, in the self-interested pursuit of profit, the developers have wantonly ignored the City’s ordinances and the judgments of this court. The harm of this chosen path of resistance is real: those who have the least to spare – families in need of an affordable home — are daily being denied access to that to which they are rightfully entitled, a safe, decent, affordable place to live.”
FSHC seeks to have courts bar developers from renting, selling, or transferring the units in the four developments that are, or become, vacant until the developers meet the affordable housing obligations.
“Such a remedy will ensure that units currently vacant, and those that become vacant, are able to be deed-restricted for lower-income households to satisfy the developers’ 56-unit affordable housing requirement,” states FSHC which also seeks fees and costs “to recoup what the developers have forced it to expend to enforce the Appellate Division’s Judgments.”