Affordable Housing - Home

Affordable Housing:

Welcome to an exploration of affordable housing.  Affordable housing is defined as a dwelling in which the fixed housing costs are able to be reasonably paid for, where low- and moderate-income is defined as earning 80% or the median income in the region.  Paramus is located in region 1 (see attached 2016 and 2017 Affordable Housing Regional Income Limits by Household Size table).

Fair Housing and Equal Housing Opportunities:

It is unlawful to discriminate against any person making application to participate in the rehabilitation program or rent a unit with regard to race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectional or sexual orientation, familial status, disability, nationality, sex, gender identity or expression or source of lawful income used for mortgage or rental payments.

Rehabilitation Program:

Rehabilitation Program Operating Manual has been prepared to assist in the administration of the Borough of Paramus Rehabilitation Program. It will serve as a guide to the program staff and applicants.

At the request of a Paramus homeowner the affordable housing department will e-mail or mail the manual which describes the basic content and operation of the program, examines program purposes and provides the guidelines for implementing the program.  It has been prepared with a flexible format allowing for periodic updates of its sections, when required, due to revisions in regulations and/or procedures. The Rehab manual explains the steps in the rehabilitation process.  It describes the eligibility requirements for participation in the program, program criteria, funding terms and conditions, cost estimating, contract payments, record keeping and overall program administration.

Eligible Participants:

Both owner-occupied and renter-occupied housing units are eligible to receive funding for rehabilitation provided that the occupants of the units are determined to be low- or moderate-income households and that the units are determined to be substandard. Owners of rental properties do not have to be low- or moderate-income households.  If a structure contains two or more units and an owner, who is not income eligible, occupies one unit funding may be provided for the rehabilitation of the rest of the units if income-eligible households occupy those units.  Rents must be affordable to low- or moderate-income households.  There are Income Limits for Participation and the occupants of the units must have incomes that fall within the income guidelines established.

The purpose of the program is to bring substandard housing up to code. Substandard units are those units requiring repair or replacement of at least one major system.  A major system is any one of the following:

  • Roof
  • Plumbing (including wells)
  • Heating
  • Electrical
  • Sanitary plumbing (including septic systems)
  • Load bearing structural systems
  • Permits fee’s
  • Weatherization (building insulation for attic, exterior walls and crawl space, siding to improve energy efficiency, replacement storm windows and storm doors and replacement windows and doors).

Code violations & emergency repairs will be determined by an inspection conducted by a Paramus Rehab inspector & Director.

If an owner-occupied housing unit is sold prior to the end of the 10 year controls on affordability, at least part of the loan shall be recaptured and used to rehabilitate another housing unit, unless the unit is sold to a low- or moderate-income household at an affordable price pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:97:-9.3

Program Affordability Controls:

Ten-year controls on affordability on both owner-occupied units and rental units are required.  For rental units, the controls on affordability shall be in the form of a deed restriction and may also include a lien.  If a unit is vacant upon initial rental subsequent to rehabilitation, or if a renter-occupied unit is re-rented prior to the end of controls on affordability, the deed restriction shall require the unit to be rented to a low- or moderate- income household at an affordable price and affirmatively marketed pursuant to the N.J.A.C. 5:97-9.  Rents in rehabilitated units may increase annually based on the standards in N.J.A.C. 5:97-9.

Eligible Improvements:

Housing rehabilitation funds may be used only for repairs or system replacements necessary to bring a substandard unit into compliance with municipal health, safety and building codes, applicable code violations, as well as any other cosmetic work that is reasonable and deemed necessary or is related to the necessary repairs.

At least one major system must be replaced or included in the repairs, which include one of the following:

  • Roof
  • Plumbing (including wells)
  • Heating
  • Electrical
  • Sanitary plumbing (including septic systems)
  • Load bearing structural systems
  • Oil tank removal
  • Weatherization (building insulation for attic, exterior walls and crawl space, siding to improve energy efficiency, replacement storm windows and storm doors and replacement windows and doors)

The related work may include, but not be limited to the following:   The related work may include, but not be limited to the following:

  • Interior trim work,
  • Interior and/or exterior doors
  • Interior and/or exterior hardware
  • Window treatment
  • Interior stair repair
  • Exterior step repair or replacement
  • Porch repair
  • Wall surface repair
  • Painting
  • Exterior rain carrying system repair

Ineligible Improvements:

Work not eligible for program funding includes but is not limited to luxury improvements (improvements which are strictly cosmetic), additions, conversions (basement, garage, porch, attic, etc.), repairs to structures separate from the living units (detached garage, shed, barn, etc.), furnishings, pools and landscaping.  If determined unsafe, stoves may be replaced.  The replacement or repair of other appliances is prohibited.  Rehabilitation work performed by property owners shall not be funded under this program.

Rehabilitation Standards:

Upon rehabilitation, housing deficiencies shall be corrected and the unit shall comply with the New Jersey State Housing Code, N.J.A.C. 5:28.   For construction projects that require the issuance of a construction permit pursuant to the Uniform Construction Code, the unit must also comply with the requirements of the Rehabilitation Subcode (N.J.A.C. 5:23-6). In these instances, the more restrictive requirements of the New Jersey State Housing Code or the Rehabilitation Subcode shall apply.  For projects that require construction permits, the rehabilitated unit shall be considered complete at the date of final approval pursuant to the Uniform Construction Code.

Certification of Standard:

All code deficiencies noted in the inspection report must be corrected and rehabilitated units must be in compliance with the standards proscribed in sub-section C above upon issuance of a certificate of completion or occupancy. The licensed inspector must certify any structure repaired in whole or in part with rehabilitation funds to be free of any code violations.

Paramus provides for repairs in emergency situations if the conditions are stipulated in the Operating Manual.

Emergency Repairs:

A situation relating to a safety and/or health hazard for the occupants would constitute an emergency.  A municipal inspector will confirm the need for such work. In emergency cases, the formal solicitation process will not be followed. A minimum of three (3) estimates will be obtained when possible for the “emergency” work. Application for additional non-emergency work may be made in accordance with the procedures outlined in this Operating Manual. The funding for the emergency work and any additional rehabilitation may not exceed the program financing provisions in Section II, sub-section A.

Application/Interview:

Property owners interested in participating in the housing rehabilitation program may submit preliminary applications to the program staff.  Preliminary applications are available at the following locations:

Paramus Affordable Housing

105 North Farview Ave

Paramus NJ 07652

201-265-2100 ext. 2220

Upon request, the program staff will mail a preliminary application to an interested property owner.  If after the program staff reviews a preliminary application and the owner-occupant appear to be income eligible, an interview will be arranged with the applicant for a formal application to the program.  At the time of the interview, the applicant must present required documentation.  Applicants for rental rehabilitation funding must provide a list of tenants and the rents paid by each. The program staff will contact the tenants to provide evidence of income eligibility of the occupants of the units.  Applications will be processed in the order of receipt.

Affordable Housing Rental opportunities in Paramus:

Currently Paramus has rental opportunities for families and senior housing over 62 years old. Paramus Affordable Housing is a consumer-oriented service provider to households in Paramus and Region One for households seeking low and moderate income housing opportunities.  Paramus is forefront in the administration, monitoring and compliance of affordable housing in New Jersey. Paramus Affordable Housing Corp is an administrative agent and consultant for developers, landlords, non-profit corporations and municipal governments through inter local agreements with municipalities within Region 1.  Please contact the housing department to check affordable rental availabilities in Paramus and Region One.