Nearly 200 New Jersey Mayors Oppose Affordable Housing Rules

Almost 200 New Jersey mayors have joined together to oppose new affordable housing requirements that they say their cities can't possibly comply with.

"Saying new affordable-housing obligations would force suburban towns to build beyond their capacity, a coalition of nearly 200 mayors said yesterday they would challenge the regulations in court."

"The dispute centers on state rules, unveiled in December, that roughly doubled the affordable-housing requirements first proposed in 2004."

"Local leaders say they have neither the space to build the amount of new housing the state demands, nor the money to pay for the associated classrooms, roads and sewers."

Full Story: Mayors challenge affordable housing rules



Chutzpah in the Extreme

Chutzpah in the extreme! These mayors have been fighting allowing housing that households of modest incomes can afford since before the Mount Laurel decision. And now they're crying foul? What nerve! As a city planner and fair housing attorney I've been following developments with New Jersey affordable housing litigation since the 1970s and have been amazed at the level of resistance these towns have put up to make sure no housing is built that teachers, city employees, police, fire fighters, social workers, librarians, the elderly, and recent graduates can afford, i.e. they don't have to spend more than 30% of their income on housing. The New Jersey League of Municipalities ought to be ashamed of itself for fighting these efforts from the beginning -- then again just about every state league of municipalities has aligned itself with the opponents of affordable housing. Together they've helped create today's growing housing crisis which existed long before the mortgage crisis.

If households have to spend more than 30% of their income on housing, they lack the funds needed for other helpful items like food, clothing, transportation and savings. No wonder the economy is in the toilet. These towns are contributing to the economic destruction of our great nation by helping to make it unaffordable to live in New Jersey.

Daniel Lauber, AICP
AICP President 2003-2005, 1992, 1994
APA President 1985-1986

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