Council on Affordable Housing - Update June 2013
The New Jersey battle over affordable housing trust money continues. The Christie Administration sent out letters from COAH (Council on Affordable Housing) May 1, 2013 requiring municipalities either to demonstrate how their local trust fund money had been "committed" (without actually defining the term "committed") to local housing programs or to send their money to Trenton to balance the state budget. The Fair Share Housing Center (a not-for-profit organization that defends the rights of New Jersey’s poor by monitoring, enforcing and expanding the Mount Laurel Doctrine) went to Court May 13, 2013 and obtained a stay of the recent COAH directive. The case will be argued in court on June 5, 2013. The attorneys of Mason, Griffin & Pierson’s local government law practice group are assisting the New Jersey League of Municipalities as it works with Fair Share to continue the fight against the money grab. In the meantime, local governments should be preparing a response to the COAH letter indicating how their affordable trust funds have been or, are going to be, spent locally. In that response letter, the municipality should specifically request a hearing before the COAH Board (and not just its staff) to further delay the potential transfer of its money to the State.
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