N.J. Developers Closer Than Further To Lifting Age Restrictions

New Jersey developers saddled with approved but unbuilt housing projects aimed at buyers aged 55 and older would be able to seek permission to eliminate the age restrictions, under a bill that won legislative passage Thursday. Across the state, communities approved far more age-restricted housing than buyers actually needed, Assembly sponsor Lou Greenwald (D-Camden) said. “Yet many young professionals – teachers, police officers and firefighters among them – are finding themselves increasingly unable to afford homes in the very communities they serve ,” Greenwald said. “We must provide a limited and responsible avenue to build homes for the middle-class residents who need them while putting New Jerseyans back to work.” Developers seeking the conversion would apply to the an local planning or zoning board that granted the initial approval. Amendments recommended by Gov. Jon Corzine and approved by the Senate last week and the Assembly Thursday, give local officials more latitude to deny an application for conversion, require developers to dedicate 20 percent of homes for low- and moderate-income residents, and allow the courts to review local board decisions. The Assembly voted 46-28, with 4 abstentions to pass the bill, which returns to Corzine to be signed into law. AP.

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