State Affordable Housing Policies as Sprawl Enabler

A critique of New Jersey's housing policies lends historical perspective before taking an unexpected rhetorical turn.
February 16, 2018, 10am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Paul Mulshine writes an opinion piece on the subject of New Jersey's housing and land use policies, launching the narrative in 1973 with the help of a CBS proto-reality show called "We're Okey in Brick, N.J."

The appeal of fleeing the city to suburbs like Brick in 1973 is now obsolete, according to Mulshine. Suburbs are declining and migration patterns have reversed.

This all seems like the set up for an anti-sprawl argument, and it is, but the twist here relates to state-mandated affordable housing requirements. The popularity of urban living, according to Mulshine, "raises an obvious question about the state's insistence on imposing affordable housing quotas on the [suburban] towns: Why do the places where people don't want to go get hit with the highest housing quotas?"

Mulshine discusses a specific case study of a proposed development in Clinton Township that will build 793 units, including 445 affordable units, "in a rural setting near the beautiful Round Valley Reservoir" after a protracted legal battle. According to Mulshine, it's "as if our politicians are stuck in that reality show trying to recreate the planning practices that now have people fleeing from the suburbs instead of toward them."

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Published on Thursday, February 15, 2018 in The Star-Ledger
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