COAH: Towns dodge affordable housing rules

This is one of three interrelated articles that appeared in Sunday’s issue of the Herald News. Hopefully they provide some background information on COAH.

COAH: Towns dodge affordable housing rules
Sunday, January 21, 2007

On a recent Monday evening as dusk began to descend, Debora and Alexander Rodriguez stood in the doorway of their townhouse and watched their two young sons bicycling on a landscaped cul de sac.

The Rodriguezes have been on a six-year odyssey for what most parents seek: affordable housing, good schools and a safe environment.

In September, they moved into Ethel R. Lawrence Homes, a development on nearly 62 acres in Mount Laurel Township, 15 miles from Philadelphia.

Forty years ago, the Rodriguezes would not have been able to call this township home because zoning laws made it impossible to build low-cost housing. That changed in 1983, when the state Supreme Court ruled that Mount Laurel — and every municipality in New Jersey for that matter — had an obligation to provide a realistic opportunity for low- and moderate-income families to live anywhere in the state.

To read the full article click here.