Assemblywoman ELIANA PINTOR MARIN
District 29 (Essex)
Assemblyman RAJ MUKHERJI
District 33 (Hudson)
Assemblywoman JOANN DOWNEY
District 11 (Monmouth)
Senator TROY SINGLETON
District 7 (Burlington)
Senator M. TERESA RUIZ
District 29 (Essex)
Assemblywoman Chaparro, Assemblyman Schaer, Assemblywomen Vainieri Huttle, Murphy, Reynolds-Jackson, DiMaso, Pinkin, Assemblymen Conaway, Wimberly, Senators Greenstein, Madden, Pou, Assemblywoman Lopez, Assemblyman Chiaravalloti and Assemblywoman Mosquera
Allows county homelessness trust funds to be used for code blue emergency shelter services.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on December 3, 2018, with amendments.
An Act concerning the use of county homelessness trust funds and amending P.L.2009, c.123 1and N.J.S.22A:4-171.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 2 of P.L.2009, c.123 (C.52:27D-287b) is amended to read as follows:
2. The Legislature finds and declares:
a. The creation of county homelessness trust funds in counties that have completed and endorsed a plan to end homelessness will provide some of the additional funds necessary to move homeless or formerly homeless individuals toward the goal of permanent affordable housing and self-sufficiency.
b. Despite laudable efforts by all levels of government, private individuals, nonprofit organizations, and charitable foundations to end homelessness, the number of homeless persons in New Jersey is unacceptably high. The State's homeless population, furthermore, includes a large number of families with children, youth, veterans, the elderly, and employed persons.
c. Fiscal and social costs of homelessness are high for both the public and private sectors and [declares that] ending homelessness should be a joint goal for State and local government.
d. A myriad of factors contribute to homelessness, including a shortage of affordable housing; a shortage of jobs that pay wages and benefits sufficient to support a family; high property taxes which undermine housing affordability; a lack of an accessible and affordable health care system available to all who suffer from physical and mental illnesses and chemical and alcohol dependency; domestic violence; and a lack of education and job skills necessary to acquire adequate wage jobs in the economy of the twenty-first century.
e. It is critical that emergency shelters for the homeless are able to provide sufficient and adequate shelter services to all homeless individuals in their communities when a Code Blue alert is in effect due to severely cold weather. Allowing county homelessness trust funds to be used in support of emergency shelter for the homeless services provided in connection with a Code Blue alert would create an additional funding source to help ensure that this goal is met.
(cf: P.L.2009, c.123, s.2)
2. Section 3 of P.L.2009, c.123 (C.52:27D-287c) is amended to read as follows:
3. As used in [this act] P.L.2009, c.123 (C.52:27D-287a et al.):
“Code Blue alert” means an alert declared pursuant to section 3 of P.L.2017, c.68 (C.App.A:9-43.20).
"Community based organization" means a nonprofit, private, or public organization funded with public or private funds, or both, that provides housing and services to families and individuals who are homeless.
"County homeless housing grant program" means the vehicle by which competitive grants are awarded by the governing body of the county, utilizing moneys from the County Homelessness Housing Trust Fund, for activities directly related to housing homeless individuals and families, preventing homelessness, and other efforts directly related to permanently housing homeless persons, as administered by the local government or its designated subcontractor, or directly related to temporarily housing homeless persons in connection with a Code Blue alert.
"County Homelessness Trust Fund Task Force" means the voluntary local committee created to advise a local government on the creation of a local homeless housing plan and participate in a local homeless housing program. It shall include a representative of the county, representatives from each of the three municipalities in the county with the largest populations of homeless people, representatives from the organization responsible for developing, implementing, or both, the local plan to end homelessness, at least three homeless or formerly homeless persons, and three representatives of local private or nonprofit organizations with experience in assisting the homeless or providing low-income housing. Among the responsibilities of the County Homelessness Trust Fund Task Force is to assess priorities for funding, review of applications, and preparation of an annual report and an annual measurement of the progress of the trust fund.
"Department" means the Department of Community Affairs, unless otherwise designated.
"Director" means the Director of the Division of Housing and Community Resources in the Department of Community Affairs.
"Homeless person" means an individual living outside, or in a building not meant for human habitation or which the person has no legal right to occupy, in an emergency shelter, or in a temporary housing program which may include a transitional and supportive housing program if habitation time limits exist, or temporarily in the home of another household, or in a motel.
"Housing authority" means any of the public corporations created pursuant to section 17 of P.L.1992, c.79 (C.40A:12A-17).
"Housing continuum" means the progression of individuals along a housing-focused scale with homelessness at one end and home ownership at the other.
"Homeless housing plan" means the plan approved by a local government to address housing for homeless persons that includes measurable and achievable objectives to end homelessness in the county.
"Local government" means a county government.
"Outcome measurement" means the process of comparing specific measures of success against ultimate and interim goals.
(cf: P.L.2009, c.123, s.3)
3. Section 6 of P.L.2009, c.123 (C.52:27D-287f) is amended to read as follows:
6. a. Each county shall utilize its County Homelessness Trust Fund with the advice of the County Homelessness Trust Fund Task Force for the operation of a homeless housing grant program. This program is established in order to provide:
(1) for the acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of housing projects or units within housing projects that supply permanent affordable housing for homeless persons or families, including those at risk of homelessness;
(2) rental assistance vouchers, including tenant and project based subsidies, for affordable housing projects or units within housing projects that provide permanent affordable housing for homeless persons or families, including those at risk of homelessness;
(3) supportive services as may be required by homeless individuals or families in order to obtain or maintain, or both, permanent affordable housing; and
(4) prevention services for at risk homeless individuals or families so that they can obtain and maintain permanent affordable housing.
b. Grants awarded by the governing body of the county shall be used to support projects that:
(1) measurably reduce homelessness;
(2) demonstrate government cost savings over time;
(3) employ evidence-based models;
(4) can be replicated in other counties;
(5) include an outcome measurement component;
(6) are consistent with the local homeless housing plan; or
(7) fund the acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation projects that will serve homeless individuals or families for a period of at least 30 years or the equal to the longest term of affordability required by other funding sources.
c. Each county that has established a County Homelessness Trust Fund shall transmit information concerning the uses of the funds to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency in accordance with requirements established by that agency.
d. The governing body of a county may by resolution establish a preference for veterans that gives first priority, in the distribution of grants, for the benefit of homeless veterans, including those at risk of homelessness.
e. A county may utilize its County Homelessness Trust Fund to support emergency shelter for the homeless services provided in connection with a Code Blue alert.
(cf: P.L.2017, c.320, s.1)
14. N.J.S.22A:4-17 is amended to read as follows:
22A:4-17. a. All fees, costs, allowances, percentages and other perquisites of whatever kind which surrogates, county clerks in their several capacities, registers of deeds and mortgages, and sheriffs or persons employed in their offices are entitled to charge and receive for any official acts or services they may render shall be for the sole use of the county and shall be accounted for regularly to the county treasurer; however, such monies shall be utilized to increase the salaries of surrogates, county clerks, registers of deeds and mortgages and sheriffs, except as provided in section 6 of P.L.2001, c.370 (C.22A:4-8.1), section 7 of P.L.1985, c.422 (C.22A:4-17.1) and section 4 of P.L.1988, c.109 (C.22A:4-17.2).
Such accounting shall be made on or before the fifteenth day of each month on form blanks supplied by the county treasurer. The statement of account shall clearly set forth all sums charged or taxed or which shall have accrued or become payable during the preceding month. Such statements shall be made under oath and filed in the office of the county treasurer as public records.
Such statements when received by the county treasurer shall be forthwith audited by the county auditor or other proper officer.
On or before the twentieth day of each month surrogates, county clerks, registers of deeds and mortgages, and sheriffs shall pay over the amount of such fees and moneys to the county treasurer and such officers shall be personally liable to the county for such fees and moneys.
The penalty for each day's neglect to file the required statement of account or to pay over such moneys shall be one hundred dollars ($100.00) to be recovered in the name of the board of chosen freeholders of the county in a civil action in the Superior Court, and said officers may also be proceeded against by proceeding in lieu of prerogative writ.
b. (1) In addition to the fees authorized in N.J.S.22A:4-4.1, and except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, upon resolution or ordinance of the county governing body, as appropriate, a surcharge of :
(a) three dollars ; or
(b) five dollars, of which two dollars shall be used for the purpose required by subsection e. of section 6 of P.L.2009, c.123 (C.52:27D-287f) ,
which surcharge shall be charged for each document recorded, which will be in addition to any other charge allowed by law. The county treasurer shall deposit the surcharges so collected into a fund that shall be used by the county to accomplish the purposes of P.L.2009, c.123 (C.52:27D-287a et al.). This fund shall be known as the "County Homelessness Housing Trust Fund." Five percent of the fund may be used annually by the county for administrative costs related to administration of the fund and the grant program established pursuant to P.L.2009, c.123 (C.52:27D-287a et al.), and the remainder only for homelessness housing programs as described in P.L.2009, c.123 (C.52:27D-287a et al.).
(2) The surcharge imposed in this section does not apply to assignments or substitutions of previously recorded deeds of trust.1
(cf: P.L.2009, c.123, s.8)
1[4.] 5.1 This act shall take effect immediately.