HOUSING COMMISSION MEETING
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
Chairman, Dr. Bernard F. Ross, who read the Open Public Meetings Act Statement prescribed by law, called the meeting to order at 8:00 P.M. Notice of the meeting was published in the Ridgewood News on June 28, 2002, posted in the Township Hall and filed in the Township Clerk’s office.
Minutes of the meeting are available from the township Clerk, the Secretary of the Housing Commission and the Municipal Web Site upon adoption by the Commission.
Salute To the Flag.
Present: Brotherton, Calandrillo, Martel, Plicinski, Raiz, Ross
D. Tamayne, Associate Twp. Atty. (8:10)
Raiz made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 18, 2002 Housing Commission meeting. Plicinski seconded. Motion passed. Brotherton and Calandrillo abstained due to absence.
On a motion by Calandrillo, seconded by Plicinski the meeting was opened for the Public Portion. Motion passed.
Julie Smith, 1201 Norfolk Road, thanked the Housing Commission, on behalf of the residents of Norfolk Village, for the letter sent to Trenton requesting consideration of distinction on rental amendments pertaining to senior citizens. Smith asked how and when the Commission could help with separation for the residents from the regulations presently in place concerning the yearly rental increases.
Ross explained there is nothing the Commission can do at the present time. The present regulations cover all affordable units, and do not feel there could be separate rules set aside for Norfolk Village.
Martel asked the twenty-five residents present in the audience to please notify the Commission when they plan to attend the meetings, allowing time for the Township to request the Attorney to be in attendance. He also reminded the tenants the Township has in the past come to their aide, and stated if we work together we may be able to get something accomplished.
Dorothy Schell, 1201 Norfolk Road, referred to the second page of a 1996 letter from Philip Caton, the Court Master at which point in time Mahwah was under the jurisdiction of the Superior Court. Caton explained since Mahwah was under the jurisdiction of the Superior Court; consequently, the Court-approved Affordable Housing Plan, not COAH
regulations, is the document which governed how households are income-qualified and how affordable prices are adjusted over time.
At 8:10 PM Calandrillo made a motion to close the Public Portion, allowing D. Tamayne, Associate Twp. Atty. appropriate time to enter the discussion. Plicinski seconded. Motion carried.
Correspondence was reviewed.
Calandrillo made the motion to reopen the Public Portion at 8:15. Seconded by Plicinski. Motion approved.
Smith stated the residents are in attendance again this evening to pursue their complaint of the yearly increases, which they feel are excessive. The 2002 increases are 5.7% and 5.72% respectfully. They are requesting a separation of rentals for the Senior Citizens who are Norfolk Village tenants or to recommend changes be made to the binding Court Order.
Tamayne referred to the June 25, 2002 letter from the Commission to COAH making an inquiry as to what specifically can be done to separate the seniors. However, there will be yearly increases under either the COAH or NJHMF regulations. Tamayne stated historically, if we review the increases, they probably balance out. If one criteria is higher one year, the other will be higher the next year. She did not feel the tenants were receiving a disfavor under one criteria verses another. There has been an inquiry made for separation and the Twp. is awaiting a reply from COAH.
Schell asked if Tamayne had time to review the 1996 letter from Caton. Tamayne requested time to review the history of Norfolk Village, with B. Campion, as well as, obtain a complete copy of the letter from Philip Caton.
Ross explained K. Hovnanian, as the owner of the building, applied to the Federal Government for tax credits for this site, and therefore, the building is treated separately.
Years back COAH’s rental increases were higher than NJHMF, this year NJHMF is higher than COAH’s rental increase.
Martel asked the residents to appoint two persons to represent them, have a meeting, address their concerns, review and write them down. In the meantime, Tamayne will review the files and discuss the history with Campion. Martel will schedule a meeting between the two representatives, Campion, Tamayne, Ross, and the Affordable Housing Dept. hoping to move forward in a unified effort to resolve this issue. Martel would like a comparison showing both COAH and NJHMF figures for the past six years.
Eleanor Platz, 1201 Norfolk Rd., asked why the rents are different, when all the units are the same. Ross explained the income tiers. The units will always remain in the initial bracket; they are not allowed to be changed.
Platz received a letter from Bergen County Housing Authority, which was interpreted to say if her income goes below her present level, her rent would also decrease. Reed explained the Section 8 program, this is rental assistance for people who apply and qualify under special low income guidelines. The rent is not reduced under the program; if qualified the individuals receive assistance toward the rent.
Calandrillo made the motion to close the Public Portion. Brotherton seconded. Motion carried.
Housing Manager’s Reports
Report A - One unit is listed for sale, one for rent. Seven units have sales pending.
One owner withdrew a unit due to personal circumstances.
Report B – Violations- An out of Court Settlement was reached on 2124 Hawthorne and the case was dismissed. 735 Pepperidge Court-has been sent to Municipal Court in Hackensack for Change of Venue-no Court date scheduled as of yet.
Report C – Pending Foreclosure- One unit-owner filed for bankruptcy.
Report D –Current Foreclosure List- Tamayne will file motion in Bergen Co. Superior Court for recovery of excess funds.
Report E – Development Fees-current balance $443,912.10
Norfolk Village – See Above.
Tamayane will draft a form letter which will be sent by the Affordable Housing Dept. to inform Mortgage Companies, the Township is requesting notice of any pending foreclosure. Tamayne has an inquiry into COAH as to what alterations are allowable to future Deeds, for restrictions, so the Township would be noticed. In the interim, letters will be sent to the Mortgage Companies requesting notice of foreclosure.
Being no further business Calandrillo made the motion for adjournment at 9:25 PM. Brotherton seconded. Motion approved. The next scheduled Housing Commission is Tuesday, September 17, 2002.
Mary Ann Reed
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