Drew University in Madison, N.J., has been working during the last year in a plan to sell 63 acres of its 168 Acres campus to a developer, but needs the support of the municipal government to obtain the greatest amount of money for the property. After years of prolonged conversations, the city leaders refused to support the sale of the land, which is mostly developed forests that could become affordable homes.

The university went to court in June to force the problem, accusing city officials to act in bad faith, waste their time and prevent "100 low and moderate income families to call Madison your home".

"For more than four years, Madison participated in a sophisticated scheme for Skirt its constitutional obligation of affordable housing and preventing inclusive homes from being built in the vacant and developable lands of one of its largest owners, If not the biggest, "wrote the lawyer of the University of Drew in the presentation of 36 pages.


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University officials have not hidden the need for the institution with liquidity problems that would provide the sale. They want to use funds to reinforce the university's endowment.

Madison officials have not yet responded directly to accusations in the Court, but said in a recent public meeting that Drew's decision to go to court was disappointing. A audience on the motion is scheduled by the end of this month.

"This is something that I as mayor and Madison as a whole I cannot take personally," said Madison Mayor Robert Conley. “He shows that they have concerns about their financial stability, and see this as a route to help them get where they need to be. We see it as a diversion and wrong challenge, but does not change our commitment to support them. ;

University leaders responded in a statement that the mayor was trying to distract the public criticizing the management of their university finances. Help for university students and Drew must add to their endowment to do so, ”said the statement. "The income of any land sale will directly improve the strength of the university's endowment and will be dedicated to providing financial support to deserving students."

The private university of about 2,200 students, located in the small city of almost 17,000, has had financial problems in the midst of the decrease in registration and other financial challenges related to the pandemic. The sale of land is a way in which university officials are looking to strengthen Drew's endowment, which officials said they have received success in recent years.

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  • Drew alleged in the presentation that Madison officials did not include the 63 acres of university lands in The district official count available for affordable homes. The calculation was part of a long legal process to determine whether the city was complying with the state laws of affordable housing. The city reached a settlement in August 2020 with the Fair Share Housing Center, which works to enforce and expand affordable housing laws. Drew officials are now trying to vacate the agreement.

    Drew has requested "at least" an audience to consider how her surplus land can be "rezoneed to provide additional AFFs

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