The Supreme Court of New Jersey ruled today that Governor Chris Christie did not have the authority to reorganize the state's affordable housing entity, the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH). The Governor attempted to dissolve COAH, an independent agency, by moving it under the Department of Community Affairs, a department with direct oversight by the Administration.
Today's ruling is a win for New Jersey's most vulnerable and low-income residents as it maintains COAH as a separate entity whose mission is to ensure affordable housing development through the Garden State. CSH Director Alison Recca-Ryan noted, "today's Supreme Court decision affirms that the laws on the books cannot be ignored. New Jersey's most vulnerable and low-income residents will once again have an entity and process in place to implement the state's fair housing laws, including local affordable housing obligations, ensuring an array of choices to call home throughout the state."
CSH along with our housing advocates partners the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (The Network) and Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness submitted an Amicus Brief to the court asking the court to invalidate the Governor's reorganization plan. Today's ruling validates the need for a fair process to provide access to affordable housing for New Jerseyans in need.
For more details on this important ruling read our joint release with The Network and press coverage on NJBiz.com and in New Jersey's statewide paper, The Star Ledger.