New Jersey struggles to develop fair rules on affordable housing. "The whole thing is madness at this point," says a Sussex County administrator.
"Across the state, a four-letter word is spoken - sometimes righteously, other times disdainfully - in council chambers, planning offices and courtrooms: COAH.
The revised, third-round Council on Affordable Housing Rules could bring the most confusion - and legal wrangling - yet seen in the decades-old, statewide program.
The council's new regulations and requirements plan for 115,000 new affordable housing units statewide. The cost estimate for the building of those units is estimated by attorneys and planners to amount to as much as $18.5 billion across the Garden State.
Statewide concerns on both sides of the controversy span from the socioeconomic - preserving current property values in highly-valued areas - to the philosophical, like the opportunity to live in a better neighborhood someone otherwise might not be able to afford."