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Legislation Introduced to Update Enforcement of the Mt. Laurel Doctrine, NJ’s Groundbreaking Affordable Housing Model

December 18, 2023

Jag Davies, (786) 393-8100,

Press Statement: Legislation Introduced to Update Enforcement of the Mt. Laurel Doctrine, NJ’s Groundbreaking Affordable Housing Model

TRENTON – Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Senate President Nicholas Scutari, Senator Troy Singleton, and Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez held a press conference this morning to announce legislation that will set a course for future enforcement of the state’s constitutional requirement for every town to provide its fair share of affordable housing, known as the Mount Laurel Doctrine.

The Doctrine was established through a series of watershed New Jersey Supreme Court decisions beginning in 1975. Since 2015, when the New Jersey Supreme Court reinvigorated the Doctrine after decades of political obstruction, New Jersey’s annual affordable housing production has nearly doubled — providing safe and healthy housing to more than 50,000 people over the last eight years. 

Below is a statement from Adam Gordon, Executive Director of the Fair Share Housing Center: 

“Over the course of New Jersey’s history, fair housing policies have been integral in making our state more inclusive. Since 2015, New Jersey has taken bigger steps than ever to create affordable homes, but there’s still much more work to do.

Housing shortages hurt everyone in our state — shrinking our labor supply and handicapping our economic growth.  On the other hand, access to affordable housing in vibrant communities, with strong schools and employment opportunities, addresses so many other problems at their root.

We applaud Senate President Scutari, Speaker Coughlin, Senator Singleton, and Assemblywoman Lopez for prioritizing addressing our state’s housing crisis. The key principles announced this morning, including expediting the process to build affordable homes, abolishing the failed Council on Affordable Housing, and continuing to ban Regional Contribution Agreements, offer a promising framework for moving forward. The Mount Laurel framework must be safeguarded and strengthened to meet the current housing challenges facing our state’s families.  

We look forward to reviewing the legislation — along with the many other civil rights leaders, housing advocates, and other allies who are working to address the state’s housing crisis — and providing input on both strengths and areas for improvement in the coming days.”

Fair Share Housing Center is a nonprofit advocacy organization that uses legal, policy, and community-building strategies to dismantle decades of racial and economic discrimination in New Jersey and nationally that excludes people from the opportunity to live in safe, healthy, and affordable housing.

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