Section: 40-year contracts authorized
The Legislature hereby finds and determines that there exists in many municipalities of this State areas which are in varying stages of decline, but which have not as yet reached the point of irreversible decline; that these areas are a matter of serious concern, and represent an expanding problem which threatens the public health, safety, morals and welfare; that the neglect of these areas at the present time will necessitate excessive and disproportionate expenditures of public funds for the reconstruction and revitalization of these areas at a future date; that to permit the continued decline of such areas into a state of decay would ignore the lessons of decades of urban renewal activities, would impair the sound growth of our municipalities, would lay waste to essential housing resources and would result in an economic, environmental, and social liability which the State can no longer tolerate.
The Legislature further finds that these problems can best be addressed through the conjunctive and cooperative efforts of private enterprise, State Government, its political subdivisions, and other public, quasi-public, and nonprofit bodies acting pursuant to neighborhood preservation plans conceived and prepared in accordance with the purposes of this act and through its direction.
The Legislature further finds that the responsibilities of State and local governments with respect to the preservation of our municipalities and neighborhoods have been altered and magnified by actions of the Federal Government, which now permits states and localities to undertake directly a broader range of housing rehabilitation activities than previously possible under former Federal assistance programs; and that in order that the people of this State shall derive the maximum feasible benefit from this shift in Federal policy, it is necessary and appropriate to expand the power of municipal government and the administrative authority of the Department of Community Affairs.
The Legislature hereby declares it to be the policy of the State to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens thereof through the preservation of existing neighborhoods and the maintenance of neighborhood viability. This policy is best effectuated by the reconstruction, remodeling, improvement, restoration, or repair of existing residential housing to sound condition. For this purpose, powers are hereby granted to municipalities and the Department of Community Affairs to offer financial assistance through loans or grants or both to agencies, public, quasi-public, or private nonprofit, which will finance rehabilitation of housing through a program of loans and grants in an area determined by the municipal governing body to be substandard, deteriorating, or in the process of falling into a cycle of disrepair. It is hereby declared that the undertaking of such housing rehabilitation is a public purpose for which monies may be expended, advanced, loaned or granted and the enactment of the provisions hereinafter set forth is in the public interest.
L.1975, c. 249, s. 2, eff. Oct. 30, 1975.
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