Jersey City Unveils New Zoning Mandates to Ensure Affordable Housing is Available to Most Vulnerable Residents

Mayor Fulop and Council President Unveil new Inclusionary Zoning Mandates to Ensure Jersey City’s most Vulnerable Residents have access to Affordable Housing

New Development to Incorporate 20% Affordable Housing Units

JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop joins Council President Joyce Watterman and the Municipal Council to announce a new ordinance requiring residential development projects to include 20% affording housing units.  The Inclusionary Zoning measures outlined in the ordinance ensures that as Jersey City continues to see positive growth and attract market-rate residential development, there is also opportunity to meet the residents’ affordable housing needs now and for future generations to come.

“While our administration has prioritized affordable housing growth for Jersey City, it takes time to construct the new housing, and in many ways, we are trying to make up for the lack of a policy focus for decades before our administration,” said Mayor Fulop. “With this ordinance, we are going to take our construction to the next level by forcing developers to include more affordable housing in their projects.”

Per the ordinance, the mandatory affordable housing units will be set aside for households with combined income brackets at 30%, 50%, and 80% of the annual median income (AMI), as defined by Uniform Housing Affordability Controls (U.H.A.C.).

“We took competing ordinances and formed a robust plan that best addresses affordability for Jersey City residents,” said Council President Watterman.  “Everyone, regardless of income or age, deserves an affordable and safe place to live, and this ordinance looks to protect our most vulnerable populations by requiring developers to incorporate affordable housing going forward.”

The Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance will require residential developers with projects over 15 residential units that are requesting 5 or more additional units or an additional 5,000 square feet of residential floor area through a redevelopment plan amendment or a variance to follow the new provisions.

Nearly 40% of Jersey City households are cost-burdened, as defined by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as paying more than 30% of one’s income towards housing.  The Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance looks to promote the establishment of appropriate population densities and concentrations that will contribute to the overall well-being of our communities.

“What sets our ordinance apart from other affordable housing efforts is that it seeks to provide the maximum amount of affordable housing with a workable solution that also takes into account the complexities of the market conditions in any large city,” said Annisia Cialone, Director of Housing, Economic Development, and Commerce.

The Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance will go in front of the City Council at the next scheduled meeting being held virtually this Wednesday, October 7, 2020.