The Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC) is a court-recognized affordable housing advocacy group. FSHC has been heavily involved in monitoring NJ municipalities’ efforts to comply with affordable housing obligations. In Spring 2017, the Town of Westfield and FSHC entered into negotiations to determine an affordable housing strategy for Westfield. Westfield, the FSHC, and a court appointed Special Housing Master identified the most appropriate locations for new housing development, while still maintaining Westfield’s character and agreed to a Settlement Agreement that was approved unanimously by the Mayor and Town Council in April 2017. The Superior Court further approved the Settlement Agreement in October 2017, finding it to be fair and reasonable to low and moderate income households.
In 2021, the Town amended its Settlement Agreement with FSHC, allowing for the development of the vacant Handler Building on North Avenue East as a hydroponic farm, restaurant, retail, and educational space -- all known as Redi Farms -- rather than for multi-family housing as was required under the housing plan. Affordable unit obligations for the Handler Building Site are to be built at the Williams Nursey site (a long-zoned property for affordable housing).