Letter: Holmdel’s Housing Obligation

August 24, 2017
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Opinion contributed by Pradeep Jhanjee

At the August 8th Holmdel Township Committee (TC) meeting the public became privy to the township’s estimate of Holmdel’s Fair Housing obligation. The governing body believes it needs an additional 110 Fair Housing eligible “family rental” units. To accomplish this, the Township Committee, in discussions with developers, has identified 4 properties on which 420 units will be built with the 5th property’s location and unit size (Lucent redevelopment attribut- able) yet to be determined. Given the proportionality used on the other four properties it is rea- sonable to assume that the fifth property will be sized at 170 units. So to obtain 110 Fair Housing units, the TC’s plan is to build 420+170=590 family units.

It is reasonable to assume that the tax on each of these units will not exceed $5000 per year, that each of these “family rental” units will have two school-going children and that the educational cost to the town to educate each of these children is $10,000 per year. So not accounting for the cost of additional services any development brings, each typical “family unit” will be a net cost of $15,000 per year to the town. The total cost of the excess units built in order to obtain the required 110 Fair Housing obligation would be (590 – 110) x $15,000 = $7.2 million per year!

Please consider an alternative route, to only build the 110 units but subsidize the
builder directly. One possible way to do this would be to pay the builder $1,000 per month per unit. The cost to do this would be $1000 x 12 x 110 = $1.32 million per year.

Hit the Lights, It’s Holiday Time

To meet the appropriate requirement that Fair Housing units not be concentrated in one location, spread the family rentals in lots of 15 units among 7 locations around town.

For a running annual cost of about $1.3 million, the town can meet its Fair Housing obligation.

We do not need the additional 480 “family units” costing us $7.2 million per year with all the commensurate increase in congestion, traffic, noise and aggravations.

Pradeep Jhanjee


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