Housing Advocates Applaud Court Decision to Invalidate COAH Reorganization  
Independent and diverse body essential, say advocates 


Following the announcement that the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled against the Christie administration's reorganization of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH), Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) Executive Director Staci Berger issued the following statement:

"The COAH board should represent the interests of a diverse population. We're pleased that the Court has recognized the need for a variety of stakeholders including nonprofits to be involved in creating more affordable homes for New Jersey residents. Our leaders need to work together to ensure that our residents have a range of homes to choose from which will help our economy grow. We applaud this decision for helping move New Jersey forward."

The Mercer Alliance to End Homelessness and the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) had joined the Network in an amicus brief requesting that the Court invalidate Governor Christie's Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) reorganization plan. CSH Director Alison Recca-Ryan issued the following statement:   

"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."

Housing advocates had argued to the Court in the amicus that by transferring COAH responsibilities to the DCA Commissioner, the governor becomes the sole, exclusive and absolute arbiter of affordable housing compliance; the public would be shut out of decision making which would happen behind closed doors.  Without a provision for the interplay of a diverse array of views and perspectives, such as those offered by nonprofit and special needs developers, compliance with the Mt. Laurel obligation would be lacking.  Further, the brief asserts that the Executive Order violates the separation of powers between branches of government as well as the Fair Housing Act.

About the Network
The Housing and Community Development Network supports New Jersey’s community development sector, collaborating with more than 250 members including community development corporations and other organizations to create affordable homes, expand economic opportunities, and build strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit www.hcdnnj.org.

About CSH
CSH transforms how communities use housing solutions to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people. We offer capital, expertise, information and innovation that allow our partners to use supportive housing to achieve stability, strength and success for the people in most need. CSH blends over 20 years of experience and dedication with a practical and entrepreneurial spirit, making us the source for housing solutions. CSH is an industry leader with national influence and deep connections in a growing number of local communities. We are headquartered in New York City with staff stationed in more than 20 locations around the country. Visit csh.org to learn how CSH has and can make a difference where you live.

For more information: Nina Arce
Housing & Community Development Network of NJ
(609) 393-3752 x12
[email protected]
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