State’s Fair Housing Laws Not Functioning Properly for 16 Years
The New Jersey Supreme Court delivered a ruling that requires towns and municipalities in New Jersey to be responsible for meeting the housing needs that accumulated during a 16-year “gap period.” During this 16-year gap period, the state’s fair housing laws were not functioning properly.
Wait a minute?!?! The laws were not functioning properly for 16 years??? I assume that you can spare me a minute to entertain this topic given the fact that families in New Jersey in need of housing have been waiting 16 years. Popular opinion often grants government agencies a bad rap about being inefficient. Polls during the recent election cycle and the results of the election itself demonstrate that many people are dissatisfied with the way government works, or doesn’t work. But 16 years of not functioning properly? That’s a long time.
The agency – the Council on Affordable Housing – tasked with doling out the “fair share” of affordable housing requirements to NJ towns and municipalities failed to do so during the gap period. Therefore, many towns chose to cut back on construction as they awaited guidance from the state. In order to calculate their “fair share” obligations, the municipalities must consider: current substandard housing and the expected demand for the affordable housing for the next decade. With the new ruling, these municipalities must address “the affordable housing need of presently existing New Jersey low- and moderate-income households, which formed during the gap period and are entitled to their delayed opportunity to seek affordable housing,” wrote Justice Jaynee LaVecchia.
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Using Technology to Overcome Delayed Opportunity to Affordable Housing
Bureaucratic logjams, applicant backlogs, and delayed access for eligible affordable housing candidates are surely not characteristics that are unique to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency. Housing authorities around the country are routinely faced with growing numbers of families facing homelessness, but fewer resources to serve them. Placing qualified individuals into fair and affordable housing in an efficient, yet compliant, way can be a major challenge for under-staffed public housing agencies. This challenge presents delayed opportunities to affordable housing around the country.
Housing agencies that suffer from long delays, clients with missing paperwork, unexpected HUD audits, and any number of factors that contribute to slow, inefficient processes in affordable housing administrations do have options to overcome delay. As an Authorized OnBase Solutions Provider, we have helped a number of housing agencies, including the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development, to improve their processes in order to better serve their constituents with OnBase public housing solutions.
Older systems, decreased resources, and bureaucratic boondoggles like the one mentioned above make it difficult for housing agencies to maintain high service levels, sustain their funding, and avoid fines. On the other hand, OnBase solutions for public housing allow housing agencies to streamline the intake process, increase transparency and visibility, and improve access to information – all while improving compliance. Less time and resources spent on document-driven, administrative tasks means more time serving more clients in need.
Learn more about OnBase Public Housing Solutions
Learn more about OnBase public housing solutions from MTS Software Solutions by downloading our OnBase Public Housing Solutions brochure.
You can also request a demo of our housing solutions. We look forward to hearing from you soon on ways we can improve your agency’s operations and help you avoid making the headlines for the wrong reasons.