Branchbrook Park in Newark.
Branchbrook Park in Newark.

New Jersey is the home of the Mount Laurel decision, one of the earliest court cases to maintain that municipalities have an obligation to provide for affordable housing. That decision from the state's Supreme Court was handed down in the 1970s. Yet the issue drags on. New Jersey 101.5 reports:

What should be considered affordable housing in New Jersey?
With the Council on Affordable Housing in legal limbo for the past several years, that question has become front and center as Superior Court judges in the Garden State have now started ruling on what affordable housing obligations municipalities may or may not have.

Econsult Solutions, a firm hired by 280 municipalities to represent them in court, has issued a report listing hundreds of homes in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, some with swimming pools, cabanas and Tiki bars, as affordable housing.

“It’s such an absurd proposition that it’s hard to imagine anybody would argue that,” said Kevin Walsh, executive director of The Fair Share Housing Center in Cherry Hill.
He contends these homes are being listed this way in order for towns to get around their affordable housing obligations.

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