Advocates Weigh On Mount Laurel Case Urge NJ Supreme Court To Uphold COAH
On November 14, 2012, supportive housing advocates urged the New Jersey Supreme Court to affirm the Mount Laurel doctrine in a Star-Ledger op-ed piece.
The piece opens with,
“Today, the New Jersey Supreme Court will hear its most important fair-housing case in decades. Its decision will have a powerful impact on housing for people with special needs. It is critical that the court affirm key aspects of the Mount Laurel doctrine, which requires each New Jersey town to allow its fair share of housing for people with low and moderate incomes, including people with special needs.”
The authors do not support the “growth share” approach which could jeopardize potential supportive housing for people with special needs including the homeless, newly returned veterans, and people moving out of state institutions. This approach would basically reject the court’s own precedent.
With 8,000 people on the state’s waiting list for supportive housing, these homes are very much in need. To date, Mount Laurel has created 8,000 new homes and there are 3,000 more in the timeline waiting for development.
In conclusion, the advocates write,
“Mount Laurel is a critical part of the solution to New Jersey’s housing problems, particularly for those with special needs. The court should uphold and strengthen its past precedents to keep prejudices in check, provide a more secure footing for the development of special needs housing and fulfill the court’s duty to uphold the constitution.”