New York Construction Report staff writer
New Jersey has approved changes to the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) Act designed to speed up the construction permitting process. The bill codifies a three-day construction inspection turnaround from the date of the requested inspection and allows for developers to contract with private on-site inspection agencies if local construction officials cannot complete the inspection within three days of the requested date.
According to Governor Phil Murphy, new rules bring New Jersey in line with several other states where private sector inspections supplement government inspections. The ultimate approval and sign-off on a certificate of occupancy will still come from local construction officials.
The bill also provides local governments with ways to improve their ability to conduct inspections in a timely manner, including a more streamlined bidding process to contract with private inspection agencies to conduct inspections for them or enter into shared services agreements to consolidate work among multiple municipalities.
“As we enter a new year, this Administration’s mission remains the same; we will continue to make New Jersey stronger, fairer, and more affordable for all of our residents,” Murphy said.
“Today’s bill signing will speed up the construction permitting process, making sure that developers are able to complete their projects without delay. The over $19 million investment will aid in the completion of 79 affordable housing units across our state. These steps will bring us closer to providing quality and affordable homes to our residents.”
Funding will be administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to assist different types of affordable housing projects to create housing that New Jersey residents can afford in communities around the state. The federal funding that DCA receives from the National Housing Trust Fund and the HOME CHDO Program comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“Governor Murphy and I are committed to addressing the shortage of affordable housing in New Jersey,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “We are contributing significant funding for these projects, which will create decent, stable housing throughout the state that is affordable and accessible. Through this investment, we will strengthen neighborhoods, create more diverse communities, and stimulate economic development.”
All the awards were given to smaller rental and homeownership housing projects sized at 25 or fewer units, which often have difficulty obtaining financing. These projects will fill the gaps within the existing affordable housing framework, build on current assets and investments, and add value to neighborhoods. The projects are also being developed by community-based organizations that have a strong connection to the housing equity issues in their communities.
A total of 17 developers will share $19,082,545:
Affordable Housing Trust Fund Awards
- SJCS Rehab, LLC – $1,552,731 for 10 units in Camden City
- Garden State Episcopal CDC – $1,454,911 for 6 units in East Orange City
- Magill Real Estate Holdings, LLC -$3,813,526 for 20 units in the City of Elizabeth
HOME Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO) Program
- Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society – $270,600 for 1 unit in Woodbury City
National Housing Trust Fund (HTF)
- GFM Properties, Inc – $1,000,000 for 4 units in Midland park Borough
- Nouvelle Housing Solutions, Inc. – $1,000,000 for 4 units in Franklin Lakes Borough
- The Salt & Light Company, Inc. – $651,900 for 4 units in Pemberton Borough
- LUA Homes LLP – $1,000,000 for 2 units in the City of Newark
- BES Homes LLC – $1,000,000 for 2 units in the City of Newark
- Homes By TLC, Inc. – $866,000 for 2 units in Ewing Township
- Reformed Church of Highland Park – $1,000,000 for 4 units in Highland Park
- Perth Amboy YMCA – $1,000,000 for 7 units in Perth Amboy
- Triple C Housing, Inc. – $1,000,000 for 2 units in North Brunswick Township
- Affordable Housing Alliance, Inc. – $1,000,000 for 3 units in Millstone Township
- HABcore, Inc. – $805,120 for 2 units in the City of Asbury Park
- Triple C Housing, Inc. – $667,757 for 2 units in Berkeley Township
- Nouvelle Housing Solutions, Inc. – $1,000,000 for 4 units in Wayne Township