Fair Share Housing Center

Blog

West Windsor signs major new fair housing agreement

Posted by Anthony Campisi on October 11th 2018

A major fair housing settlement approved by West Windsor last night creates a path forward for the construction of hundreds of new homes for working families, seniors and people with disabilities living in Central Jersey.

Through this agreement, which establishes a 1,500-unit fair housing obligation for the township, West Windsor joins about 250 other towns across New Jersey that have fair housing settlements in place. The agreement laying out how the township’s housing plan comes seven months after it was assigned an obligation in the state’s first county-wide fair housing trial to address municipal obligations through 2025.

The ruling, by Mercer County Assignment Judge Mary C. Jacobson, addressed the fair housing obligations of West Windsor and Princeton, the only two towns in Mercer County that failed to reach a settlement of their affordable housing obligations with advocates. The settlement with West Windsor leaves Princeton as the only municipality remaining in Mercer County that has not reached a settlement.

“We are pleased that West Windsor has worked with advocates to implement a fair housing plan that will end protracted litigation while expanding opportunities for working families, seniors and people with disabilities,” said Fair Share Housing Center Executive Director Kevin Walsh. “Our agreement represents a compromise that includes a major new development for families and people with disabilities, as well as new development near the Princeton Junction train station, increasing access to jobs in cities like New Brunswick, Trenton, Newark and New York City. After three years of litigation, we appreciate the work of Mayor Hemant Marathe, the Council and township professionals to move forward on a compromise plan that will get much-needed homes built in the near future.”

Some key provisions in the settlement include:

  • The construction of a 72-unit affordable and accessible rental community on Old Bear Brook Road, for which a groundbreaking will happen next week. The development is being managed by Project Freedom, a respected local nonprofit with long experience serving people with disabilities.
  • 132 affordable homes will be included as part of a larger planned redevelopment of an old office park near the Princeton Junction train station. This project will expand access to the nation’s most important transit corridors, reduce sprawl and improve working families’ access to major employment opportunities in cities like Trenton, New Brunswick, Newark and New York City.
  • Provide 89 affordable units from a larger planned redevelopment of land currently owned by Princeton Theological Seminary.
  • 51 additional homes affordable to low-income seniors will be added to the Bear Creek Senior Living development.
  • The municipality is also taking credit for projects that have been constructed in recent years that include affordable units.

The settlement will be reviewed by Judge Jacobson in November. The township already has implemented, or is in the process of implementing, numerous provisions of the settlement. The remaining provisions will be implemented after the court reviews the settlement.