Hillsborough, September 18, 2017 – Jane Staats and Harrison “Harry” Burke, Democratic candidates for Hillsborough Township Committee, urge the Township Committee to thoughtfully consider its affordable housing responsibility.
There is a current proposal before the Committee to build another development near the end of the new bypass. During its September 12 meeting, the Township Committee approved an ordinance that rezones the area to mixed use. Concept plans have been developed, with 175 apartment units proposed at the site.
“Hillsborough already has several large residential developments. Adding an additional development of 175 units in this location will add stress to our congested roadways,” Burke said.
“The Township Committee is misleading residents when stating this development is necessary to address affordable housing requirements. Only 24% of the proposed units are designated for affordable housing,” Staats said. “And affordable housing is not just for people looking to move into our community. It also applies to long-time residents of Hillsborough, such as seniors and young adults, who love Hillsborough and want to continue living here.”
The Committee continued to blame the State regarding affordable housing.
“There are many ways to solve a problem. Pointing at another governing body as the reason is not the answer. Hillsborough can consider taking advantage of our empty storefronts and vacant lots to fulfill our affordable housing obligations,” Burke said. Bridgewater has successfully met its affordable housing quota by implementing a variety of strategies.
“The local government – right here in Hillsborough – must create a sensible, business-like plan that specifically addresses affordable housing,” Staats said. The Committee claims to have such a plan, but it has not been shared with the public.
The Township Committee has met in executive session at least five times to discuss affordable housing.
“I do not understand why the Township Committee has discussed affordable housing behind closed doors,” Burke said. “Residents and business owners have ideas. We all want to contribute to the solution.”