NEW JERSEY SUPREME COURT INVALIDATES COAH 3RD ROUND REGULATIONS

After years of legal challenges to the concept of “growth share” devised by the Council on Affordable Housing (“COAH”) as a method of providing for prospective affordable housing need, on September 26, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in a sweeping opinion that “growth share” is at odds with the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”). As a result, the Supreme Court ruled that the current 3rd Round Regulations are so intertwined with the concept of “growth share” that they too are inconsistent with the FHA and thus invalid. In order to eliminate the “limbo” in which municipalities, citizens of the State, developers and affordable housing interest groups have lived for years, COAH has been granted five (5) months to adopt new rules based upon the 1st and 2nd Round methodologies. The Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Division decision declaring that “growth share is inconsistent with the FHA mandate to provide for present and prospective affordable housing needs based on the particular housing region.” The Court believed that COAH abandoned such mandate in adopting the “growth share” methodology, with its focus on Statewide housing needs as opposed to regional and municipal needs. The Supreme Court did, however, make it clear that the 1st and 2nd Round methodologies for determining prospective affordable housing need is neither sacrosanct nor permanent. In fact, the Court spent considerable time making it abundantly clear that its decision should not be viewed as a “constitutional straightjacket to legislative innovation on a new remedy responsive to the constitutional obligation” framed by the FHA. Whether the New Jersey Legislature will accept the invitation of the Supreme Court to develop a new legislative scheme to provide affordable housing is yet to be determined. We will continue to monitor developments as they unfold relative to affordable housing issues. Please feel free to contact William Willard, Esq. about any and all of your affordable housing questions and about the Supreme Court’s ruling in particular. DiFrancesco, Bateman, Coley, Yospin, Kunzman, Davis, Lehrer & Flaum, PC is a full service law firm in New Jersey which provides a broad range of legal services, including the representation of parties in zoning, land use and local government matters. For additional information about the matters in this bulletin or in the firm’s land use, zoning and municipal please contact Jeffrey B. Lehrer, Esq. The information contained in this blog is intended solely for informational purposes; it is a advertising publication of DiFrancesco, Bateman, Coley, Yospin, Kunzman, Davis, Lehrer & Flaum P.C.This publication is intended to alert recipients of developments in the law and is not intended to provide legal counsel, advice or opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended as general information only. You are urged to consult a member of this firm or your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you might have.


DiFrancesco, Bateman, Kunzman, Davis, Lehrer & Flaum PC (http://www.dbnjlawblog.com) is a full service law firm in New Jersey which provides a broad range of legal services. For additional information about the matters in this bulletin or in the firm’s Employment Practice, please contact Richard P. Flaum, Esq.

The information contained in this blog is intended solely for informational purposes; it is a advertising publication of DiFrancesco, Bateman, Kunzman, Davis, Lehrer & Flaum P.C.This publication is intended to alert recipients of developments in the law and is not intended to provide legal counsel, advice or opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended as general information only. You are urged to consult a member of this firm or your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you might have.