Fair Share Housing Center

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Statement in response to today’s fair housing ruling

Posted by Laura Denker on July 11th 2016

Fair Share Housing Center Executive Director Kevin Walsh issued the following statement in response to today’s ruling from the Appellate Division on the gap period:

“The Appellate Division today held that the court ‘does not ignore housing needs that arose in the gap period or a municipality’s obligation to otherwise satisfy its constitutional fair share obligations.’ It also says that ‘identified low and moderate-income households formed during the gap period in need of affordable housing can be captured in a municipality’s calculation of present need.’

“Yet the court today deviated from the course New Jersey has set for decades on how this need should be measured, raising the problem of continued delays for thousands of families who have waited years for homes in safe communities with access to good schools and employment opportunities. This plays into the hands of wealthy towns that are seeking to delay and exclude because it requires further studies at a time when the needs of New Jersey working families, seniors and people with disabilities are so great. The court erred today in coming up with a new way for municipalities to account for the housing needs of families that occurred during a 15-year gap period when New Jerseyans were buffeted by the impacts of the Great Recession, a wave of casino closures and the state’s ongoing foreclosure crisis, rather than relying on existing law.”