The piece criticizes Governor Chris Christie’s repeated attempts to block the creation of affordable housing in New Jersey and affirms the recent Supreme Court of New Jersey’s decision to give the state’s lower courts the power to administer the historic Mount Laurel fair housing decision.
The Court unanimously decided that challenges to municipal affordable housing obligations could be taken to court rather than the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) and get affordable housing in the state “back on track.”
“In last week’s ruling, the Supreme Court said the state had abdicated its responsibility. The trial courts, it said, would henceforth determine which municipalities were meeting their constitutional responsibilities and allow developers and fair housing groups to file suit against those that were not. If towns do not meet their obligations, the courts will decide what is to be built and where.
Given the pressing need for affordable housing in New Jersey and the executive branch’s failure to act, the courts are just where responsibility should lie.”