By AIA-NJ Superstorm Sandy happened 10 years ago last week. The American Institute of Architects New Jersey Chapter (AIA New Jersey) joins our state in reflecting on Superstorm Sandy and remembering the lessons learned. Our members have assisted residents throughout…
From one professional to another, our guest columnists offer their opinions and their take on the latest trends and issues facing the commercial real estate sector.
Turning the page on a challenging year for New Jersey’s apartment industry
Like everyone else, we expected 2021 to be better and easier. At the beginning of the year, the vaccines were starting to roll out, the feeling was positive and the worst was behind us. But then the reality of 2021 set in. Across the country, with the rise of the Delta variant, supply chain problems, labor shortages and unanticipated weather events, we were thrust into another difficult year. It wasn’t the 2021 we had all hoped for — it was “2020 redux” — and it was just as challenging but in different ways.
Proptech is a door to opportunity for real estate firms
At Wiss, we are very pleased to partner on this very first feature on proptech and innovation in the premier real estate publication and website in New Jersey. Not only is real estate one of the core industries we serve, it’s an industry that’s ripe for technological evolution. And we are keen about helping those in the real estate and property sector see how proptech can help them thrive.
The economic value of the multifamily industry
The domino effect: Without rental assistance, who’s left holding the bag?
When COVID-19 hit the United States, most Americans never imagined the impact it would have on daily life. As the virus spread, states like New Jersey started to implement policies to promote social distancing and to help those impacted by the economic fallout of the crisis, including policies such as an eviction moratorium. While such a policy addresses one specific immediate-term problem, it does not address the systemic need for rent revenue that supports an entire multifamily ecosystem, which is a critical component of New Jersey’s economy and significantly supports the State and municipalities through taxes. Without rental assistance and an understanding that rent is still due, multifamily jobs will be lost, private-sector financial obligations may not be met, utilities will not be paid and municipalities might see shortfalls due to the inability to pay property taxes. That is why we need a rental assistance program immediately.
Addressing affordable housing: Government leaders must adapt
After multiple Supreme Court decisions over 50 years, the creation of the Council on Affordable Housing and its subsequent power stripping by the Supreme Court in 2015, over 60,000 units of affordable housing have been created. So, does that mean that the battle over affordable housing in New Jersey is over? Nothing could be further from the truth.
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Rent control is not a solution to our affordable housing crisis
Among the many issues facing our nation, the availability of affordable housing, or lack thereof, is a problem that lawmakers have been trying to address for decades. Federal programs that either support the development of affordable housing or provide assistance to renters through vouchers have been woefully underfunded, and state and local elected officials are looking for solutions. Unfortunately, some have turned to rent control as an answer. But the reality is that rent control will not only fail to solve our affordable housing crisis, it will actually make it worse.
The next chapter in affordable housing in New Jersey
Since 2015, more than 280 towns in New Jersey have signed settlement agreements for their affordable housing obligations, while a judge has determined the statewide need to be about 155,000 units and experts project that about 50,000 of those will be created by 2025. Frankly, the court process is way too far down the road to try and move it back to the Council on Affordable Housing or another state agency. But that is not to say there are not some issues worth discussing as we move forward.
The changing landscape of stormwater management: New rule will require innovative techniques
On Dec. 3, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection published amendments to the state’s Stormwater Management Rule (NJAC 7.8) that, when adopted, will change fundamentally the way stormwater management systems are designed in New Jersey. The key amendment will replace the existing requirement, which asks developers to incorporate so-called non-structural strategies “to the maximum extent practicable,” with a firm requirement to use a technique known as green infrastructure in new development.