NJ ordered to strengthen affordable-housing rules
Thursday, September 26, 2013 Last updated: Thursday September 26, 2013, 7:40 PM
BY JOHN REITMEYER AND KAREN SUDOL
New Jersey is not doing enough to foster affordable housing in every community, the state Supreme Court said Thursday in a major decision that gives the Christie administration five months to draft new housing rules.
The 3-2 ruling is a victory for advocates of affordable housing, who have long argued the state’s latest affordable-housing rules made it too easy for towns, including many in North Jersey, to exclude low- and moderate-income residents through zoning policies.
Though the rules at issue before the court had their roots in the administration of former Gov. Jon Corzine, Governor Christie, a Republican, has been an outspoken critic of the state’s affordable-housing policies which were drafted before he took office, in response to a series of court decisions referred to generally as the Mount Laurel doctrine after the town outside Philadelphia where zoning rules were initially challenged decades ago. The governor has called those policies heavy-handed.