Why are the courts in control of determining Millburn’s affordable housing obligation?

The Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) has failed to establish legally valid rules and numeric obligations for affordable housing since the second round of regulations expired in 1999. There have been numerous court battles between affordable housing advocates, the real estate developers’ lobby, municipalities and COAH itself over how the rules should be formulated and the methodology by which local obligations should be established.

In March of 2015, the Supreme Court, after numerous attempts by COAH to establish legally acceptable rules and the methodology to calculate each municipality’s affordable housing obligation, took back jurisdiction over all affordable housing issues. The Supreme Court returned to the county trial courts the responsibility of determining methodology, affordable housing obligations and compliance with the constitutional obligations to provide this housing through land use ordinances, overlay zones and available inclusionary development opportunities. This order stripped COAH of its administrative powers and forced participating towns into a situation where they must attempt to determine their own obligations. This process is ongoing and will likely continue through trial and appeals courts for years to come.

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1. Where can I learn more about Millburn’s current Affordable Housing situation?
2. What are the ways the Township can obtain compliance and repose from the courts for affordable housing?
3. What is the status of the 75 units of 100% affordable housing at the 11 Main Street development (a portion of the DPW facility)?
4. Does Millburn have an Affordable Housing Plan?
5. Is the Township required to provide an opportunity for Affordable Housing units?
6. How many units of affordable housing is the township obligated to provide and by when?
7. What is Affordable Housing?
8. What is the Fair Share Housing Center?
9. What is an overlay zone?
10. Why are the courts in control of determining Millburn’s affordable housing obligation?
11. Will a court consider the economic impact to the community, including schools?
12. What is a builder's remedy lawsuit?
13. How can builder’s remedy lawsuits be avoided or defended?
14. Are the developers obligated to keep the ‘affordable units’ permanent?