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Fanwood Council Approves Marketing Plan for Affordable Housing

The plan uses $50,000 allocated by state.

Commercials, print ads and on-air slots will be promoting Fanwood's affordable housing units after the township council approved an affirmative marketing plan to adverstise afforable units throughout New Jersey.

The plan, required by the state, is part of the overall Fanwood Home Improvement Plan adopted by the township, and is part of $150,000 of state funding meant for affordable housing measures. 

Fanwood needs to use $50,000 of the funds before July 17 otherwise the township might lose it - hence the special meeting held Monday night in front of three members of the public. 

The unanimous vote came after 12 minutes of discussion, where the board mentioned some of the participants of the marketing plan, including several newspapers and radio stations in the area. 

The point is to market affordable housing in Fanwood to different socio-economic and diverse people outside the local bubble, said Mayor Colleen Mahr.

She said the messages will be more like "public service announcements" rather than commericals promoting Fanwood. 

Statewide, there is more than $200 million allocated for afforable housing, she said, with Fanwood receiving a small portion of that budget. In order to comply with state regulations, the township needed to submit the marketing plan, which will be sent down to Trenton since it was approved by the board. 

Mahr admitted the policy has been in place for three years "with vague guidelines at best," noting that the township would have complied with the requirements before the deadline if the instructions handed down from the state were clearer. 

After approval from the state, the marketing plan will be cleared for use in news outlets across the state, including 101.5 F.M. and The Star Ledger. 

Levon July 03, 2012 at 12:55 PM
"Fanwood needs to use $50,000 of the funds before July 17 otherwise the township might lose it". This is the stuff that makes my head spin. Who is benefitting from this "special meeting" to approve $50k of advertising? I'll tell you who, the newspapers and radio stations who will get this state money. Mahr and company should have stayed home last night and let the state keep the money. Our mayor and council talk about how frugal they are and we just watched $50,000.00 get flushed down a sewer that will soon also have an additional tax. Stop already with studies, advertising, and trying to make a 15 foot sliver of a pub as the centerpiece of the town. We have a bohemoth of an unoccupied eyesore that literally casts a shadow covering most of the block right in the center of town and now we're going to advertise across the state for affordable Fanwood housing? Wait another 6 months and that corner monster will be renting as affordable housing. How about a few more special meetings on merging? Stop crowing about the grants and state dollars we get in Fanwood. If this is how you use it and can call special times to meet in order to not lose it, then we as a state are better off not giving it to towns to waste.
Michael Lewis July 03, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Regretfully, I got there a little late last night and did not take the opportunity to question the Mayor and Council on this (it was offered to latecomers). However, if I followed what was going on properly, the need to have some sort of plan in place to market affordable housing availability was not going to go away - both it, and the eventual need to spend money on it - are being mandated by the state. So, if the money is going to have to be spent anyway, it is probably for the best that we use money that the state has already given us as opposed to trying to raise it on our own later on...this WOULD jack up the local component of our taxes. Do I have an opinion on this? Of course...actually, don't get me started here. But on the basis of what I saw last night (and recalling that this may have come up in past Borough Council meetings as it actually rang a bell), the issue is not with the Mayor and Council but rather with "the rules of the game" as they are being drawn up in Trenton.
Emily Everson July 03, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Good point, Michael. Thanks for clarifying.
Tired Taxpayer July 03, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Interesting that the Tax cut that is all the buzz in Trenton is $183 million per year, and $200 million is allocated for the affordable housing program. I think I'll drop the Gov a note......
haljalikea kick July 03, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I wonder how/if this will affect the SPF schools?
sp resident July 03, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Hopefully fanwood builds their own schools

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