Fair Share Advocates Have to Keep Up Their Guard

Posted by Miriam Axel-Lute on November 13, 2012

"Repeal efforts never go away. Advocates need to remain organized and ready to launch a defense or counter-attack."

That's one of the lessons from "Defending Progressive State Housing and Land Use Policies," an article by Rachel G. Bratt, Dennis Keating, and Alan Mallach in the latest issue of Shelterforce.

And indeed, though it was delayed a week as New Jersey recovered from Hurricane Sandy, tomorrow, Nov. 14, the State Supreme Court will be hearing a challenge to the state's long standing fair share housing doctrine. As the Fair Share Housing Center describes it, the court will be considering:

The request by Governor Christie and wealthy municipalities to allow towns to exclude low- and moderate-income families, seniors, and people with special needs, reversing four decades of court rulings. 

The court rulings, which holds that towns are responsible for providing their "fair share" of affordable hosuing, are known as the Mt. Laurel Doctrine, after the town involved in the original lawsuits in 1975. Interestingly, as Doug Massey reports in our latest issue as well, despite the resistance, the affordable housing that was finally built in Mt. Laurel is barely noticable to its neighbors—but is making a huge and measurable difference in the lives of the people who live there. 

(Photo CC BY-ND, bloomsberries)

About the author more ยป

Miriam Axel-Lute is editor of Shelterforce and associate director of the National Housing Institute. Her email is miriam at nhi dot org.

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