Wayne Township is a suburban community in Passaic County located within the New York metropolitan region, about 20 miles west of Manhattan. Most of the development of Wayne has occurred after World War II. Although Wayne is still primarily a "bedroom" community, in recent years it has also grown into an employment and retail center, serving as the location for corporate headquarters and major retail shopping centers. Major factors contributing to Wayne's growth both residentially and commercially are its location near New York City and the presence of major highways.
The Wayne Township Consolidated Plan presents a strategic vision for housing and community development in a truly suburban area. The Consolidated Plan includes a One- Year Action Plan for spending approximately $248,000 of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in 1995. These funds will primarily be spent on housing and public facility and improvements activities.
Two public hearings were held March 13, 1995 and April 24, 1995, after being
publicized in the local newspaper. Before the second hearing, and for a 30 day
period, copies of a draft Consolidated Plan were available for public review and
comment. The plan was approved by the Township's Governing Body on June 7, 1995,
and approved by HUD on July 17, 1995.
Although Wayne Township grew substantially from 1960 to 1970, the total
population has since declined. From 1980 to 1990, Wayne's population grew by
only 551 persons, or about one percent in the decade. In 1990, there were 16,306
housing units and 47,025 persons in Wayne Township. Minority populations do not
comprise a great percentage of Wayne's total population. Wayne Township's
median household income was $59,290 in 1989. Out of 45,010 persons, 1,027
(2.28%) were below poverty level while out of 12,849 families, 169 (1.32%) were
found to be below poverty level. Only two census tracts contain a higher
proportion (5.73% and 6.5%) of persons below the poverty level than the
township-wide average of 2.28%.
Notwithstanding the explosive post-War growth, there are many neighborhoods in Wayne which are comprised of older housing stock. The preponderance of older housing is found in what is commonly known as the "Old Wayne Area", but there are other parts of the township where homes built before 1940 are found. These older neighborhoods are the most likely areas with housing rehabilitation needs in Wayne.
There is a significant portion of older housing in Wayne Township, therefore creating a need for housing rehabilitation. In addition to the age of housing, there are indications that as many as 138 units lack (or have a deficiency in) some basic housing components such as plumbing, heating, waste disposal, water supply and/or kitchen facilities. Overall, a greater percentage of owner-occupied households have housing difficulties than do renter households. There are additional indications of the need for new affordable housing as evidenced by waiting lists of elderly, disabled and other lower income households in need of lower cost housing generally and specially designed housing to meet those with special needs.
On the basis of all of the above, Wayne Township believes there is a need for affordable rental housing and housing for sale at affordable prices for lower income elderly and families. In addition, there is a need for rehabilitation of substandard units located in the community.
There are 16,306 housing units in Wayne Township. Approximately 97% of the units are occupied. Of the total of the Township's housing stock, 8% was built prior to 1940. However, there were 2.9 persons per housing unit in 1990, compared to 3.2 persons per unit in 1980. This decline in household size accounts for the stagnant population trend despite an increase in the total number of housing units. A fairly significant portion of the pre-1940 housing stock is occupied by low and moderate income households, and many of these units are considered to be substandard.
There are 3882 households (both owner and renter households) in the various income groups below 95% of median family income. The majority of those households were owner-occupied while the rest were renter-occupied. Almost half of the renter-occupied households were elderly one and two member households. The elderly in lower income brackets can experience housing cost burdens: paying well in excess of 30% of income.
In the very low income category, forty percent of the households are renters, and about sixty percent of this group represents the elderly. As with the renters, the homeowners in the very low income category suffer from a significant problem: high cost burdens. A large portion of this group pays in excess of 50 percent of their income to housing expenses. The cost burden to renters is not as significant to the renter households. The need lies in the options to reduce housing costs to below the 30% level.
No persons or households were listed as homeless during the S-Night Census count in 1990. Wayne Township believes that it is able to swiftly assist qualified individuals in need of shelter so as to avoid any quantifiable homeless population. Individuals who may be or are threatened with homelessness (who are otherwise eligible for general assistance) are assisted by the Wayne Welfare Department in obtaining shelter. Families are referred to the County for assistance. The Department will assist approximately 50 individuals per year in obtaining shelter.
The Welfare Department also assists those individuals with special needs related to mental illness, severe mental illness and alcoholism. There is a priority need to assist homeless women, due to the difficulty in securing shelter space for them. Presently, a significant portion of the population with special needs, other than the homeless, are satisfactorily met in non-institutionalized environments. The needs of AIDS and HIV related persons is handled by the County.
There is no public housing "per se" located in Wayne Township; that is, no housing built by a public housing agency or authority. Section 8 rental housing assistance is available in Wayne from two sources: the Passaic County Housing Authority (PCHA) providing assistance to 45 tenant households in Wayne, and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA) assisting 22 persons.
There is one senior citizens project which was constructed by a nonprofit housing corporation under the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency's multi-family housing mortgage financing program: Edward Sisco Village - consisting of 241 rental units. The Lincoln Crossing development on Route 23 contains 42 rental housing units for lower income households. The project is not subsidized but the rents are restricted in accordance with the state's Mt. Laurel guidelines: half to households earning less than 50% of median and half to households earning less than 80% of median income.
Wayne Township has had a long tradition of support for rental housing. The Township is in the midst of implementing its affordable housing plan as approved by the Superior Court of New Jersey. The construction of affordable rental and "for sale" housing as part of this plan, will enable lower income households who may be experiencing housing problems, to seek alternate housing which better suits their needs. The projects will provide assistance to some elderly and families experiencing housing problems and provide housing opportunities to households with one or more member with special needs, specifically, handicapped persons.
Wayne expects to provide or facilitate the provision of new affordable housing opportunities for 364 lower income households. Half will be households earning less than 50% of median and half will be households earning between 50% and 80% of median. Approximately, 125 elderly households will be able to occupy new affordable senior citizens rental housing and there will be 94 units available to the handicapped. The township expects that 59 homes needing rehabilitation, occupied by lower income households, will be assisted over the next five years.
A fundamental component of Wayne's housing plan is the promotion of new affordable housing through zoning incentives, including the elimination or modification of any cost- generative requirements such as open space requirements, parking requirements and duplicative environmental regulations. These barriers are not related to discrimination, but to the economics of housing production. The township will consider requests by sponsors of affordable housing for abatement of property taxes for developments serving the needs of senior citizens or families with special needs, such as the handicapped.
The age of housing can also be an indicator of the potential presence of lead-based paint hazards. According to the National Center for Lead-Safe Housing, most lead-based paint hazards are found in homes constructed prior to 1980. In Wayne, this accounts for over 85% of the housing stock.
Between 1987 and 1992, 667 children between the ages of one and six were screened. Since 1987, there have only been five instances where elevated lead levels were detected by the Health Department; none of these were cases of actual poisoning. About 1073 housing units occupied by very lower income households might be affected by lead-based paint hazards.
It should be noted that CDBG funds are also being used for other eligible community development activities. HUD has approved the reprogramming proposal made by Wayne to use some of the CDBG allocation to undertake facilities improvements at public sites and buildings to bring them into compliance with the requirements of the American Disabilities Act. Funding has also been approved to perform drainage improvements and to undertake planning and administrative activities.
The township also continues to consider ways in which to improve
neighborhoods located in the flood hazard area of Wayne. The "Buttonwood"
section of the township is an area severely affected by flooding. Some homes
are severely deteriorated and by virtue of their location within the flood
plain, should be considered for acquisition and demolition. This concept is
still in the formative planning stages, however, and no actions are anticipated
at this time.
Wayne Township has developed a comprehensive housing plan designed to address a variety of housing needs. The plan and the affordable housing strategies are viewed as a first step in developing and implementing local housing initiatives on a broad (township- wide) and comprehensive scale. Housing objectives focus on preserving, maintaining and improving the existing housing stock through the implementation of a housing rehabilitation program; providing opportunities for and facilitating the construction of new affordable housing; providing rental assistance to lower income households; providing assistance to the homeless and preventing them from becoming homeless; promoting free and fair housing choice. Non-housing objectives focus on providing increased access by senior citizens and the handicapped to public services, health care, shopping, recreation, banking and social services; providing increased storm water drainage capacity and storm water management; and re-examine and update its Master Plan.
Priorities for affordable housing include preserving, maintaining and improving the existing housing stock through the implementation of the Township Housing Rehabilitation Program, providing opportunities for and facilitate the construction of new affordable housing, and providing rental assistance to lower income households.
Priorities for homeless and non-homeless with special needs include providing assistance to individuals in need of shelter, the frail elderly in need of nursing homes and others with special problems such as alcohol or drugs through its local service programs administered by the Welfare Department, and assisting individuals and families through rental assistance, as well as, utility subsidies, and referral to County, State, and private welfare agencies, to prevent families from becoming homeless.
Priorities for senior citizens and the handicapped include providing increased access to public services, health care, shopping, recreation, banking and social services.
Priorities for other community development activities include providing increased storm water drainage capacity and storm water management, promoting free and fair housing choice, and re-examining and updating its Master Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and Development Regulations.
Approximately 2.57% of the township's population falls below poverty level. While the programs described herein will hopefully benefit some of these households, they will not, in and of themselves, raise the incomes of such households. Rehabilitation assistance to households with poverty level incomes will, at least indirectly, positively impact their financial status since any household remaining in a rehabilitated home for at least six years will not be required to pay back the rehabilitation funds. Individuals and families living below the poverty level and in substandard housing are clearly the most needy households. The township will maintain records of the specific income levels of those receiving assistance to ascertain to what degree such households are participating in the program and what benefits they receive.
While there are multitudes of federal, state and local programs in place to address various housing needs, Wayne must primarily direct its efforts to identifying those resources which are designed to enable the township to carry out its programs. The Township of Wayne receives federal funding under the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program. The township will receive from the State Balanced Housing funds and reimbursement of costs associated with the homeless and homeless prevention efforts. Locally, Township of Wayne proposes to support projects through land acquisition, utilization of municipal property, and local funds raised through the issuance of bonds, direct budget appropriations, tax abatement, municipal land donation, and the collection of development fees.
The township's Consolidated Plan and housing program is primarily
coordinated and administered by the Wayne Township Planning Department. The
Planning Department currently coordinates all other Community Development Block
Grant Program implementation and activities as well as fair housing initiatives.
The township will cooperate with all affordable housing developers to obtain any
needed state or federal subsidies. Private developers will be undertaking the
remaining affordable housing projects and are responsible for all
pre-development planning, construction and operations management. The
coordination efforts of the housing program by the Planning Department is
primarily a strength of the system in carrying out the township's housing
programs. There have been no difficulties in coordinating these activities to
date. Supportive services have been carried out competently and efficiently by
the Welfare Department for many years. No gaps in the delivery of services are
foreseen in this area. No gaps in the delivery of services provided through
private developers are foreseen at this time.
The Wayne Township One-Year Action Plan outlines the proposed use of $248,000 in CDBG funds. These funds will be spent on the following activities:
Assistance provided to applicants for rehabilitation funding will be given to eligible lower income households located anywhere within the legal limits of Wayne Township. While there is no specific targeting proposed in this program, it is expected that most applicants will come from the western section of the township (known as the "Old Wayne" area) particularly in areas in or near the flood prone areas of the Pompton and Passaic Rivers, as this is the area where most deficient housing is believed to exist. Handicap accessible restroom facilities will be located at two public parks, a public pool and the municipal library. The storm water drainage projects will locate along Dorsa Avenue in the Old Wayne section of the township, and the Riverview Community area.
The Township of Wayne anticipates for its first-year housing goal to increase the supply of affordable housing through the new construction of 63 non-federally assisted rental and sale units, and the rehabilitation of 12 owner-occupied with CDBG funds.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and proposed HUD funded projects.