A Preference for Veterans
On January 28, 2013, the New Jersey Fair Housing Act was amended (C.52:27D-311) so as to allow a municipality to enter into an agreement with a developer to set aside affordable units in a residential development for qualified veterans. This preference only applies to affordable rental units when the preference has been established by an agreement between the developer or landlord and the municipality.
The apartments that will be rented under the Veteran's Preference
will be from the same pool of units that are set aside for affordable housing. The specific unit will depend on the number of units rented under the preference relative to the number of units from the general waiting list at any given time. The income category (very-low, low and moderate) and the rental rate will be predetermined for each unit and will not be modified for veteran applicants.
“Who is a qualified veteran?” The law specifically limits its scope to veterans who are low to moderate income. In addition, veteran applicants, like all applicants, will be subject the minimum income criteria, as well as to the standard tenant selection criteria established by the landlord. This typically includes the same credit checks and/or criminal background checks that are performed by the landlord.
The qualified veteran must also have served in time of war or other emergency. Specifically, the law requires veterans to qualify under N.J.A.C. 54:4-8.10, which qualifies veterans who served in active duty during the Vietnam conflict, the Korean conflict and World Wars I and II. For service in missions like Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is necessary for a veteran to have been injured there or have been on active duty in-country for a minimum of 14 days during the dates of each conflict as specified in the law. The U. S. Department of Defense form DD 214 is required to verify the service qualifications of each veteran applicant.