Jan 19 NJ Supreme Court Makes Way for Affordable Housing Growth
The New Jersey Supreme Court issued a decision on January 18, 2017 that paves the way for a possible surge in new affordable housing projects across the state. The court ruled in favor of holding cities and towns accountable for the 16-year “gap period” (1999-2015) when the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) was not operating effectively and failing to adopt lawful regulations.
The opinion dictates that municipalities must take this gap period into account when calculating the “present need” that determines their “fair share” of affordable housing obligations. As a result, municipalities will face higher fair share obligations and be forced to rezone additional properties for affordable housing.
According to the Fair Share Housing Center, this victory will address the unmet housing needs of thousands of lower-income and minority families in New Jersey.
This Supreme Court decision will now guide trial courts in the state, most likely beginning with the ongoing Mount Laurel doctrine case in Mercer County.