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Marlboro Looks to Use COAH Funds to Help Destroyed Towns

The township has $13 million left in its trust fund.

Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik is looking to use up the township's Council on Affordable Housing Trust Fund money by helping to rebuild surrounding townships.

"I wrote Senators Lesniak and Kyrillos requesting emergency legislation be passed to allow our affordable housing trust fund money for disaster relief projects," Hornik said.

Marlboro's battle regarding COAH funds continues. In July, townships raced against a deadline set by Gov. Chris Christie to commit affordable housing funds to approved projects before the state empties municipal trust funds. 

COAH is a state council that ensures every municipality offer low and moderate income housing. In July, state courts ruled that the request to empty municipal affordable housing trust funds needed to come from COAH itself, not the office of the governor.

Marlboro stood to lose the most money in the state, with $13 million in its fund. But the township's battle with the state regarding COAH is not a new one, and Hornik said he believes restoring destroyed townships such as Union Beach is a better way to spend the money.

"We requested legislation be crafted to allow municipalities to utilize our COAH trust fund money to help rebuild communities in our region, which is consistent with our constitutional requirement to provide affordable housing," Hornik said.

cynicinmarlboro December 13, 2012 at 11:06 AM
A nice idea but call it correctly - just an excuse so Marlboro would not have to worry about affordable housing in the near future as the trust fund will be used up elsewhere, as it was in the past.
gjc December 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM
I agree cyncin. Anything is OK as long as affordable housing is not built in Marlboro's back yard. Geez just to think that folks can't see through this "charitable" offer.
Kaitlyn Anness December 13, 2012 at 12:47 PM
COAH trust fund money is not used to build affordable housing. It is what the developers building market rate units and affordable housing in the township contribute to at a percentage. The township can use the funds for a variety of projects, including spending the money elsewhere if approved. The township could also use it to rehab existing affordable housing, but in order to get fair housing credits the projects need to be approved by COAH.
Thane Randolph December 13, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Another example of immature and incompetent economic management. Give this "extra" money back in the form of much needed tax rebates to the hard-working Marlboro citizens who worked day and night to earn it only to fork it over to a bloated town government. It's not your money mayor.
Kaitlyn Anness December 13, 2012 at 01:26 PM
Thane: As nice as that would be, the township cannot touch that money for just anything. There are state mandates that save that trust fund for affordable housing projects only.
cynicinmarlboro December 13, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Kaitlyn, we have all seen what has gone on in the past with affordable housing in town. It has always been "anywhere but here" for years. This is just a sure way of avoiding the issue if COAH approves the plan. This is just my opinion. You don't have to agree.
J Gupta December 13, 2012 at 02:44 PM
You all have to realize that Kaitlyn is a major proponent of hornik and will defend him regardless of the facts and provide whatever editorial support through this publication as she can. She is cinsistently spoon fed by this admninistration and will not respond to posts that challenge hornicks apparent motives such as my belief that he is grandstanding with spending more legal fees on jcp&l that the governor is already pursuing. I posted about this the other day and never got a response. Amazing how she is so kept up to date with the ins and outs of coah. Journalism at its best.
Paul Schlaflin December 13, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Ah, the usual armchair, do nothing critics rise again! How many affordable units in Marlboro are VACANT? In reality, we have a surplus. There are 4 units empty in Hamilton Park alone. I wonder how many of these "citizens" would post if their identities had to verified and posted, NADA. But I'd bet "thane" and the others are all part of the failed Republican cabal. I supported the ban on RCA's but this extreme situation calls for extreme measures and once again our administration is thinking not only "outside the box" but outside of the room the box is in. There are 100's of folks staring down homelessness in Union Beach alone, the potential loss of 1000's of units of affordable housing in the Bayshore, do any of the critics want Marlboro's COAH obligation to rise as a result of these potential losses. Frankly I'm quite sure they don't have the knowledge to make a decision they just know it is time to start throwing mud before Done Nothing, Angry Man and Who is She make another run for power, and their idea of public serve-us.
cynicinmarlboro December 13, 2012 at 03:55 PM
True on that JCP&L suit. Haven't heard any other town joining in this suit. And we have heard about how much the township has spent on the cleanup from Sandy (preparation for tax hikes next fiscal year?), but nothing on what the Feds will be giving us (unlike Manalapan who already reported to the public how much they will be getting). I do hope that we have at least submitted the necessary paperwork to get something from the Feds.
J Gupta December 13, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Well put mr. schlaflin. you are truly an inspiration to all of the residents of marlboro. I wish there were more people like you who had the time that you do to make this town a better place to live.
Thane Randolph December 13, 2012 at 04:58 PM
It's a shame
Kaitlyn Anness December 13, 2012 at 05:03 PM
J, I apologize for not seeing that comment on the other story. To my knowledge, Marlboro Township has filed that motion to intervene alone. A motion to intervene is not the same as a full-blown lawsuit, and simply seeks to stop the rate hike from occurring.
Kaitlyn Anness December 13, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Cynic, just trying to keep the facts about COAH straight, it gets confusing quickly. The important thing to remember is that the money in that fund cannot be touched without approval from COAH. Projects have to be approved ahead of time, which is why Marlboro is looking to get this approved. If the proposal is not approved, the township must look to other projects which fulfill its affordable housing obligations in order to spend that money.
Michael Mirkin December 13, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I am actually surprised that this type of out of the box thinking is coming from the mayor and the council. Regardless if this proposal alleviates some of Marlboro COAH responsibilities than it has my full support. With regard to unbiased reporting I thought/hoped that the Patch would remain an unbiased publication but I guess it is easier to be just like the transcript!
Jeff Bernstein December 14, 2012 at 02:09 PM
While I agree that it would be great to alleviate Marlboro of some of its COAH obligation, I can't help but believe that Hornik does nothing out of the goodness of his heart and without thought of his personal political gain. If he had complied with the original intent of COAH, Marlboro would not be at risk for losing the accumulated COAH funds.By publicising his intent to provide these funds for those who experienced catastophic loss, Hornik provides his platform for glossing over his incompetence in handling COAH in the first place. In his mind, the ends justify the means. It would be like someone totalling their car while driving drunk and publicly endorsing "drive Sober" efforts.
Paul Schlaflin December 14, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Jeff Bernstein please elaborate! My involvement in COAH has been limited to only the last 14 years, twice an official objector to the town's plan,testifying a dozen times before COAH, participating in the mediation process in Trenton, being interviewed by the media after major court decisions and arguing in Trenton to keep Marlboro protected from builder remedy, but I am sure your qualifications allow you greater insight so please tell us what the mayor didn't do that he should have done, or did that he shouldn't have, and be specific and in terms us ignorant folks can understand. Or perhaps you are just one of the doo doo slingers in the republican club cage with nothing to offer.
Jeff Bernstein December 14, 2012 at 05:03 PM
Please be civil Paul Schlaflin. Your tone is not one deserving of continued discourse while your assumption of my political party affiliation remains incorrect. Have a good day, sir.
Thane Randolph December 15, 2012 at 05:51 PM
! Isn't This Town Great!
Joseph P. December 15, 2012 at 06:47 PM
The best town NJ has to offer.
Kaitlyn Anness December 15, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Please keep comments civil and refrain from personally attacking each other.
Kaitlyn Anness December 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM
The comments section of this article is now closed. Personal attacks will not be tolerated in any form.

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