Four decades ago, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued what is known today as the Mount Laurel Decision – an interpretation of the state constitution that requires affordable housing be made available in the state’s municipalities. Ten years after that decision, the state legislature created the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), an agency that was charged with developing the regulations and approach to comply with the court’s order.
Chris Christie has never been a fan of affordable housing. From Day One of his administration, he has tried to eviscerate and neuter COAH. His minions stonewalled, met infrequently, and never satisfactorily executed the agency’s mission. This week, Christie got his wish. COAH is dead. But not in the way he wanted.
Because of the agency’s intransigence, the New Jersey Supreme Court stripped COAH of its powers and ordered local courts to start to ensure that the requirements for affordable housing are complied with.
The attorney who argued this case is Kevin Walsh, Executive Director of the Fair Share Housing Center. I spoke with Walsh on the ongoing need for affordable housing in the state and the approach his organization will take to help meet that need.
Jump below the fold to see the interview, or for an audio podcast, click here.