By David Madden
TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — The New Jersey Supreme Court is considering a motion to move enforcement of affordable housing laws from a state agency to the court system. Lengthy arguments on both sides were made in Trenton on Tuesday.
The Council on Affordable Housing hasn’t met in months, after failing to agree on new rules to implement the latest round of changes stemming from the Mount Laurel decision about three decades ago. That led the Fair Share Housing Center to ask for judicial relief.
“There have been no meetings. None are scheduled,” said Kevin Walsh, lead attorney for the center. “And at this point, it’s pretty fair to conclude that it’s game over.”
Deputy Attorney General Geraldine Callahan asked the court to dismiss Walsh’s motion, contending the agency has met its legal burden, even if it had not approved the rules they were ordered to develop.
“They were well aware of this court’s order,” Callahan argued. “There was no intent to violate this court’s order. In fact, they were attempting to comply with the court’s order.”
If Walsh’s motion is approved, it could allow for hundreds of municipal plans for affordable housing, now tied up in COAH, to be decided before a judge.
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