TV personality Rosie O’Donnell’s former property in Bergen County will soon be transformed into affordable housing units.
The project, approved by local officials Feb. 10, is the settlement to a lawsuit that claimed that the Borough of Saddle River systematically enforced zoning policies to exclude working families and people of color.
The five-acre estate on E. Allendale Road, as well as two adjoining lots, will become an inclusive development with eight homes that will remain affordable to working families as per a landmark agreement with the Fair Share Housing Center.
Three new affordable housing buildings comprising 127 units will also be developed as part of the New Jersey Constitution’s affordable housing requirements to satisfy the town’s obligation to provide housing for people with disabilities and working families.
One additional property behind O’Donnell’s will be transformed into 12 local affordable homes.
“This landmark settlement agreement will give working families, particularly people of color, the chance to move into one of America’s wealthiest towns,” said Fair Share Housing Center Executive Director Adam Gordon. “It shows that aggressive enforcement of New Jersey’s fair housing laws is important to bring towns to the table and end decades of exclusionary land-use policies.”
The settlement also included an agreement to a strict timeline for construction, allowing working families to move into the area within the next few years.
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