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Rutherford Drops Out Of Affordable Housing Consortium

A consortium of communities that had hired Robert Burchell, pictured, as an urban policy expert for affordable housing have to make new plans in the wake of his sudden illness.
A consortium of communities that had hired Robert Burchell, pictured, as an urban policy expert for affordable housing have to make new plans in the wake of his sudden illness. Photo Credit: Bloustein.rutgers.edu

RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Rutherford Borough Council voted earlier this week to drop out off a consortium of more than 100 towns that had retained a currently ailing Rutgers University professor as a consultant on providing affordable housing, according to NorthJersey.com.

In place of taking part in the consortium, the council voted to have its two borough attorney's, brothers Phillip and David Laporta; labor counsel Eric Berstein, and Planning Board attorney Richard Allen to handle its affordable housing analysis and projections, NorthJersey.com said.

The move came the same day the New Jersey State League of Municipalities released reports critical of estimates by the Fair Share Housing Center, an advocacy group, of how much housing is needed, NorthJersey.com added.

The Fair Share Group said a total of 350,000 affordable housing units were needed to fulfill the state's needs, NorthJersey.com said.

Rutherford is one of dozens of towns that were left without direction when it was disclosed that Professor Robert Burchell had reportedly suffered a stroke and would be unable to perform the work. Rutgers also decided not to participate in the affordable housing research, said NorthJersey.com

Burchell was working with attorney Jeffrey Surenian, who put together the consortium that would retain Burchell, the co-director of the Center for Urban Policy Research at Rutgers, added NorthJersey.com.

Several towns have agreed with Surenian to hire another consulting group, but Rutherford decided to take a different route and work with their own lawyers, NorthJersey.com said.

Recently the state Supreme Court gave judges the job setting guidelines for towns on how many low-cost housing units they needed to provide. In the spring, the court also provided municipalities with the option to apply for immunity, NorthJersery.com said.

Rutherford applied for that immunity, NorthJersey.com reported.

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