AFFORDABLE HOUSING 

Lambertville has a long, rich history in assisting its low-income population and rehabilitating sub-standard homes.  In 1965, Lady Bird Johnson came to Lambertville to inaugurate the War on Poverty that her husband, President Johnson, had just initiated.  Lambertville’s participation in the new public assistance program set the precedent for this small community.  Since that time, Lambertville has continued to rehabilitate and construct new affordable housing units..  Additionally, Lambertville has two (2) affordable age-restricted apartment complexes, Hibernia Apartments and South Hunterdon Apartments, that were developed pre-1980 using funding from the Farmers Home Administration; both of which have received Payments in Lieu of Taxes (“PILOTs”) since they were built..        

Lambertville has demonstrated a long-standing commitment of compliance with its Mount Laurel fair share obligations.  The municipality addressed its constitutional affordable housing obligation in response to the New Jersey Fair Housing Act (“FHA”)and the Council on Affordable Housing’s (“COAH’s”) First Round, Second Round and Third Round regulations (both adopted iterations from 2004 and 2008).   

For an introduction to the City’s affordable housing, please see the Community Development Fair Trifold.

For a summary of the affordable housing judicial and legislative history, please see the Mount Laurel History.

For a list of affordable housing definitions, please see the Affordable Housing Definitions.  For a full list of affordable housing definitions, please see the definitions included within the Ordinance 23-2018 below.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”), please click here.

For a timeline of how the City got to the Amended Settlement Agreement click here


LAMBERTVILLE’S HISTORY ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMPLIANCE

As previously stated, Lambertville has a long history of complying with its affordable housing obligation.  In fact, as demonstrated in the below timeline, the City adopted its initial Housing Element and Fair Share Plan (“HEFSP”) before it even had a court mandated obligation for affordable housing.  


AH webpage text

Despite the fact that COAH never certified the City’s Third Round Plan, the City proceeded to take steps to produce affordable housing and is entitled to Third Round credits for units that have actually been built and/or approved.

Current Affordable Housing Status

To comply with the March 10, 2015 Mount Laurel IV decision, Lambertville petitioned to the Superior Court on July 8, 2015 for a declaratory judgment and temporary immunity from builder’s remedy suits. Fair Share Housing Center (“FSHC”) is an interested party in its declaratory judgment, and in 2018, the City entered into successful negotiations with FSHC to identify its fair share obligation and preliminarily how that obligation would be satisfied. These negotiations resulted in a Settlement Agreement between the City and FSHC that was executed by the City on May 22, 2018. The Court issued an Order on October 11, 2018 stating that the Settlement Agreement was fair to the interests of low and moderate income households. The Court also preliminarily found that the manner in which the Settlement Agreement satisfied the obligation was reasonable, subject to several conditions.  The Court Order includes conditions that required the City to identify a redeveloper for the Former Lambertville High School site within six months of a final judgment of repose (Condition 7) and an executed Redeveloper Agreement within nine months of a final judgment of repose (Condition 8).

In order to implement the terms of the May 22, 2018 Settlement Agreement, the City adopted the following:


However, since the City failed to adopt the inclusionary overlay ordinance on the Closson Farmstead (the Holcombe site), the City had to identify substitution projects.  The City identified a number of potential sites for mixed-income, inclusionary overlay zoning or redevelopment plans, but each site ultimately fell through (see the COAH Timeline for more details).  The City was also faced with multiple lawsuits related to the condemnation of the former Lambertville High School site.  As a result, the City was at a stalemate and struggled with satisfying the conditions of the May 22, 2018 Settlement Agreement.

Under pressure from the Court to resolve this matter, the City entered into negotiations with FSHC for an amended Settlement Agreement that would contain substitute projects for the Closson Farmstead (the Holcombe site) and get out from under the condemnation requirement for the former Lambertville High School site.

Subsequently, the City and FSHC agreed to present an amended Settlement Agreement to the trial court with jurisdiction over this matter to review.  This amended Settlement Agreement, upon approval by the Court at a Fairness and Preliminary Compliance Hearing, will replace the City’s prior Settlement Agreement in its entirety.

The Amended Settlement Agreement requires the City to: 

  • Adopt an Amended Housing Element and Fair Share Plan 
  • Adopt an Amended Lambertville High School Redevelopment Plan
  • Designate the Police Station Lot as an area in need of redevelopment
  • Adopt a Redevelopment Plan for the Police Station Lot 
For a timeline of how the City got to the Amended Settlement Agreement click here

Settlement Agreement Documents

January 29, 2020 Amended Settlement Agreement

October 11, 2018 Court Order Approving Settlement Agreement

May 22, 2018 Settlement Agreement


Affordable Housing Documents


March 4, 2020 Adopted Housing Element and Fair Share Plan

February 13, 2020 Draft Amended Lambertville High School Redevelopment Plan

Ordinance 05-2019 Overlay Ordinances

Ordinance 23-2018 Affordable Housing Ordinance

December 3, 2018 Endorsed Housing Element and Fair Share Plan

November 26, 2018 Adopted Lambertville High School Redevelopment Plan

Resolution 171-2018 Affirmative Marketing Plan


INCOME LIMITS

Affordable housing is defined under New Jersey’s Fair Housing Act as a dwelling, either for sale or rent, that is within the financial means of households of low- or moderate-income, as is measured within each housing region. The City of Lambertville is in COAH’s Region 3, which includes Hunterdon, Middlesex, and Somerset counties. 

Affordable Housing Income Categories are as follows:

  • Moderate-Income: 50% to 80% regional median income
  • Low-Income: 50% regional median income or less
  • Very-Low Income: 30% regional median income or less
The Uniform Housing Affordability Controls (hereinafter “UHAC”) at N.J.A.C. 5:80-26.3(d) and (e) requires that: 

  • Rental Units
    • Maximum rent for a qualified unit be affordable to households with incomes 60% or less than the median income for the region.
    • Average rent must be affordable to households with incomes no greater than 52% of the median income. 
  • For-Sale Units
    • Maximum sale prices for affordable units must be affordable to households with incomes 70% or less than the median income. 
    • Average sale price must be affordable to a household with an income of 55% or less than the median income.
Calculating Income Limits

To update income limits, the City will rely on the methodology set forth and approved by the Superior Court that establishes the criteria to follow to annually update income limits.  Income limits for all units that are part of the City's Housing Element and Fair Share Plan, excluding those which income limits are already established through a federal program, shall be updated by the City as HUD publishes median incomes and income limits. 

The Affordable Housing Professionals of New Jersey (“AHPNJ”) and FSHC have jointly developed updated income limits for all housing regions in New Jersey, which were calculated using the methodology outlined above. These income limits for Region 3 will be utilized for Lambertville.

2019 Income Limits


MONITORING/STATUS REPORTS

On the first anniversary of the execution the FSHC amended agreement dated January 29, 2020, and every anniversary thereafter through the end of the agreement, the City agrees to provide annual reporting of trust fund activity to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (“NJDCA”), COAH, or NJ Local Government Services (“NJLGS”), or other entity designated by the State of New Jersey, with a copy provided to FSHC and posted on the municipal website, using forms developed for this purpose by the NJDCA, COAH, or LGS.

The reporting shall include an accounting of all housing trust fund activity, including the source and amount of funds collected and the amount and purpose for which any funds have been expended.

In addition, on the first anniversary of the execution of the FSHC amended agreement dated January 29, 2020, and every anniversary thereafter through the end of the agreement, the City agrees to provide annual reporting of the status of all affordable housing activity within the municipality through posting on the municipal website with a copy of such posting provided to FSHC, using forms previously developed for this purpose by COAH or any other forms endorsed by the Special Master and FSHC.

2019 Housing Trust Fund Monitoring (Pending)

2019 Housing Activity Monitoring (Pending)

The Fair Housing Act includes two provisions regarding action to be taken by the City during the ten-year period of protection acknowledged by the Settlement Agreement. The City agrees to comply with those provisions as follows:

a.    For the midpoint realistic opportunity review due on July 1, 2020, as required pursuant to N.J.S.A. 52:27D-313, the City will post on its municipal website, with a copy provided to FSHC, a status report as to its implementation of its Plan and an analysis of whether any unbuilt sites or unfulfilled mechanisms continue to present a realistic opportunity. Such posting shall invite any interested party to submit comments to the municipality, with a copy to FSHC, regarding whether any sites no longer present a realistic opportunity and should be replaced. Any interested party may by motion request a hearing before the court regarding these issues.

b.        For the review of very-low income housing requirements required by N.J.S.A 52:27D-329.1 within 30 days of the third anniversary of the FSHC agreement dated January 29, 2020, and every third year thereafter, the City will post on its municipal website, with a copy provided to FSHC, a status report as to its satisfaction of its very-low income requirements, including the family very-low income requirements. Such posting shall invite any interested party to submit comments to the municipality and FSHC on the issue of whether the municipality has complied with its very low income housing obligation under the terms of the settlement with FSHC.

July 1, 2020 Midpoint Review (Pending)
Latest Update  March 4th 2020
Detailed update with additional resources provided to community, which you can view or download here. This was also emailed to City's email list. A comprehensive background document that explains the history of discussions and decisions leading to this point has also been created and be viewed or downloaded here

This page can serve as a resource for members of the public looking for more information about community development in Lambertville. The documentation on the page represents the CIty's preliminary ideas and concepts, not final plans or decisions. As this process is being done in full public view from the earliest possible stage, information may change as the City continues to receive feedback, develop new ideas, and create new plans. View all updates and new documents by scrolling down below.

Screen Shot 2020 02 21 at 12.03.34 PMClick here to submit your application for the Community Advisory Team!


Public Documents from the Feb 1st Community Development Fair

Read the FAQ Letter from Mayor Fahl addressing the most frequently asked questions

Download the PDF of all panels, or view individual ones by clicking below:


View/Download all of the PDF of renderings and concept designs presented. 

NEW: View/Download all of the public comments provided from the February 1st Community Development Fair. 


2019 - 2020 Budget Presentation Public Documents

All budget presentations and information from 2019 Council meetings


View/Download the City's preliminary estimates for the repair/renovation cost to City owned facilities here.


Timeline of events:


March 4th 2020
Detailed update with additional resources provided to community, which you can view or download here. This was also emailed to City's email list. A comprehensive background document that explains the history of discussions and decisions leading to this point has also been created and be viewed or downloaded here

Various questions and concerns discussed in the March 2nd 2020 City Council meeting.

February 21st 2020
The ordinance (and exhibit) introduced on the 2/20 meeting related to the City's affordable housing plans (01-2020) can be downloaded here. This will be discussed in the Planning Board and the public hearing is scheduled for the next voting session of the City Council. The application for the Community Advisory Team is now available above.


February 20th 2020

City posts photos and transcriptions of all public comments provided at Community Development Fair and February 10th event (click here to view). Also posted to this page are the preliminary cost estimates from 2019's budget process for the repair/renovation of City facilities. Note that several of the numbers have been updated from previous versions. (Click here to view). 

City discusses in City Council meeting. 

February 10th 2020 
Follow up to the Community Development Fair held at Justice Center at 6pm to provide public more discussion opportunity about the proposed project, focused on Budget/Finances/Facilities, Affordable Housing, Area in Need of Rehabilation designation, historic preservation, and project timelines. 

February 6th 2020
Mayor Fahl and City Planner Emily Goldman discuss some of the most frequent questions about the City's proposed plans, as well as discuss in detail what an 'Area in Need of Rehabilitation' designation is. Watch the Facebook live below:




February 4th 2020 
Mayor announces at City Council a second (smaller) event on Monday, February 10th at 6pm at the Justice Center to provide any members of the public another opportunity to engage with the key information and interact with the City about this proposed project. 


February 1st 2020
The City hosts Community Development Fair to provide public access to all information and ability to engage, ask questions of, and leave feedback with, City’s staff, professionals and volunteers. 

You can find all of the information presented in the above links. To read the letter from Mayor Fahl to the community answering frequently asked questions click here

The City thanks the following firms for their financial support to help make this event minimal cost to the taxpayers: McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, Suburban Consulting Engineers, and Clarke Caton Hintze.

January 31st 2020
Mayor Fahl announces two-pronged project at State of the City, to consolidate multiple municipal facilities into one new facility, and to redevelop a mixed-income inclusionary residential building on the site of the police department. 



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Notice Provided by the NJDOT
ALL WORK IN THIS NOTICE IS WEATHER DEPENDENT AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE


Nature of Work:
 Milling and Paving

Project:   Route 179, Route 165 to Route 31/202

Route/Direction/MP:  Route 179 / NB & SB / MP 0.38 to 7.34    

Municipality/County:  City of Lambertville and the Townships of West Amwell & East Amwell / Hunterdon County 

Anticipated Traffic Impacts: The Contractor will start the Mill and Pave of Route 179 NB Shoulder/Lane from MP 1.38 to MP 7.34 with a shoulder closing for Paving and a Flagging Operation for paving lanes.

The Contractor will continue with same setup for paving Route 179 SB Shoulder/Lane.  For Two Lane section of Route 179 NB/SB from MP 0.38 to 1.38 the Contractor will be closing single lane each direction to perform the Mill and Pave operation.  All other Safety improvement work will be performed with Shoulder closing.

Description of New Traffic Pattern:  Temporary Closures only

Proposed Start Date of New Traffic Pattern: Monday March 19, 2018 (was Thursday March 8, 2018)

Any other comments: Contractor will begin installation of construction signs with temporary shoulder closings throughout the project. This will begin on or about March 8, 2018.