NEW JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy Thursday signed A573, which makes several 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.
The bill brings 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 several avenues 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.
In addition to the bill signing, Governor Murphy, along with Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, announced the award of more than $19 million to organizations across the state through the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF), National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF), and the HOME Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDO) Production Program.
“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.”
Today’s funding is administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and provides financial assistance for the development of 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 were awarded these funds totaling a $19,082,545 investment towards 79 units. The award recipients include:
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
“The bill signed today will foster a more efficient system of handling building code inspections that will result in a more affordable housing market, revitalized economic strength and additional career and business opportunities in the construction industry,” said Jeff Kolakowski, CEO, New Jersey Builders Association. “I applaud Governor Murphy, Lt. Governor Oliver, legislative sponsors and coalition partners for a truly collaborative process that allowed us to find a sensible solution to a problem that has quietly plagued the state’s residents and its development and business communities for years. This is prime example of good governance and how the public and private sectors can come together to better meet the needs of our state.”
“NJBIA thanks Governor Murphy for signing this bill into the law and the sponsors and Legislature for their full support. We greatly appreciate both working with the business community and construction industry on this legislation,” said NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka. ” This law provides a more expeditious process for obtaining construction inspections, which is greatly needed to avoid unnecessary delays for certificates of occupancy.”