Firemen, Teachers, Will Not Have Preference In Griggs Farm Development Housing Lottery

Town Topics
30 September, 1988 (~estimated)

Firemen, Teachers, Will Not Have Preference In Griggs Farm Development Housing Lottery

“One of the costs of taking State money is that you have to adhere to State guidelines.”

Thus Township Mayor Kate Litvack summarized why volunteer firemen and public school teachers will not be given special preference in the Griggs Farm housing development lottery. The New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) regulations, and the rules of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA), which along with the state Department of Community Affairs (DCA), has guaranteed $2.8 million to the Griggs Farm project, do not allow sub-preferences, Mayor Litvack said.

Volunteer firemen and Princeton First Aid and Rescue volunteers will be given preference along with those who live or work in the Township residents, Borough employees and employees of the Princeton Regional School system in the drawing for 50 percent of 140 affordable units at Griggs Farm. But of the list is long, and they do not get one of these 70 units, their names go into the hopper for the second go around for the remaining 70 units — along with all the other applicants for the low-to-moderate income housing.

A comment from Committeeman Tom Poole expressing the disappointment of volunteer fireman, that they will not receive special preference other that a preference than a preference in the first drawing, elicited a discussion at Township Committee last Monday night on the lottery process. Committeewoman Janet Mitchell reported that 1500 preliminary applications have been distributed thus far. By COAH regulations, each application, whether for a market unit or a Mt.Laurel affordable unit, asks for name and address only.

According to Marcy Crimmins, executive director of Princeton Community Housing which is developing the Griggs Farm, PCH had designed a lengthy preliminary application asking information which will later be required of the prospective purchaser or renter, but it was disallowed by the DCA. The applications must be postmarked by October 27.

Drawing Date Near. The drawing will take place November 3 in the social room of Holly House at Princeton Community Village when the contents of both post office boxes will be mixed together in one big container. Ms. Crimmins thinks the drawing will begin at 9 and take all day.

First, all the envelopes will be opened to eliminate duplicates. Then all the envelopes will be thoroughly mixed – “like tossing a salad,” in Ms. Crimmins’ words — and members of the Princeton clergy weill pill them one by one. As each is pulled, it will be assigned a number in order, and the name, address, and a notation as to whether the applicant is applying is applying for market or affordable housing will be entered in consecutive order in a bound notebook.

A photocopy of the lottery listing in the bound notebook will be displayed at Township Hall to publish the lottery results. A letter will be sent to all applicants informing them of thier number and enclosing information forms. These forms must be returned to the Karl M. Light Real Estate ofice by November 28.

The forms for affordable housing will ask questions as to employment and whether the person formerly lived in the Township and was forced by the high housing market to move. It will also ask if the person is a volunteer member of the Fire Department or Rescue Squad.

According to Ms. Crimmins, preference is not being given to volunteer firefighters and rescue squad members for the market housing, because PCH needs the market sales to help subsidie the affordable units. Because it is an innovative project, calling for 50 percent market units, 50 percent Mt.Laurel, PCH is somewhat anxious about the success of the total project and doesn’t want…

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