Affordable Housing Resources

League Releases Reports on Affordable Housing

In June 2015 the League Executive Board retained two expert consulting firms to provide an analysis of the State’s affordable housing policies and an April report issued by the Fair Share Housing Center. The League is pleased to share these two consulting firm reports for use as your municipality wishes.

  • Authored by Dr. Robert S. Powell, Ph.D and Gerald Doherty, M.A. of Nassau Capital Advisors, LLC, this report attempts, “to analyze the factors that determine how effective the inclusionary zoning strategy is likely to be in delivering privately-financed affordable housing units in New Jersey over the next ten years.” Click here to read this report (PDF).
  • Report authored by a team of analysts at Econsult Solutions, Inc., “…to analyze Dr. David Kinsey’s 2015 calculations of statewide affordable housing obligations for the Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC.)” Click here to read this report (PDF).

Fair Share Projections

In January 2017 the New Jersey Supreme Court issued its decision on the gap issue. Reference In Re Declaratory Judgement Actions filed by Various Municipalities, County of Ocean, Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s Decision in In Re Adoption of N.J.A.C. 5:96, 221 N.J. 1 (2015), Docket No. 077565 (2017). The Court affirmed, in part, and reversed, in part, the decision of the Appellate Division and may have expanded the Mount Laurel doctrine to include, with some important exceptions, low and moderate income (LMI) households created during the 16 year gap period.

By way of background, during the summer prior to this decision the Appellate Division held that municipalities were not responsible to zone for a “separate and discrete” amount of LMI households created during a 16 year gap, during which COAH did not promulgate substantive third round regulations. Rather, the only portion of those households that would be zoned for would be “present need,” i.e. LMI households living in crowded or substandard housing. In doing so, the Appellate Division focused on a clear reading of the Fair Housing Act and applicable regulations.

With its January 2017 decision, the Court may have expanded the Mount Laurel doctrine, beyond the plain language of the FHA and applicable regulations, to redefine “present need” to include, in addition to substandard or crowded units, a “component that addresses the affordable housing need of presently existing New Jersey [LMI households], which formed during the gap period.” Slip. op. at 31. However the courts also put limits on calculating this component, by directing that, “the trial courts must take care to ensure that the present need is not calculated in a way that includes persons who are deceased, who are income-ineligible or other are no longer eligible for affordable housing, or whose households may be already captured through the historic practice of surveying for deficient housing units within the municipality.” Id.

Please click here for the League’s press statement.