During the initial phase of the Highlands TDR Program, the HDC Bank played a crucial role as the primary purchaser of HDCs through the “Initial Purchase Program” (IPP). The IPP allowed willing landowners in the Highlands Preservation Area to apply for an allocation of HDCs and an HDC certificate and, if eligible, to deed restrict their land from future development in exchange for funding from the HDC Bank.
The IPP was made possible by the appropriation of $10 million to the HDC Bank in September 2008 through Executive Order 114. Of that, $9 million was used to create IPP, with $1 million set aside by the NJ Department of the Treasury for debt service. Through five rounds of acquisition consideration, the HDC Bank authorized $8,905,300 in funding to acquire 555 HDCs from property owners, representing nearly 660 acres.
The bank is currently exploring options for future funding, while working toward the establishment of voluntary receiving zones that will support the private purchase of HDCs.