Analysis: Governor Christie’s affordable housing policy in flux

Governor Christie came into office three years ago pledging to weaken the state’s strict affordable-housing rules and give towns more power to decide what gets built within their borders. Yet Christie’s attempt to unilaterally change New Jersey’s regulations — including his order to dismantle the state’s affordable housing agency — has only intensified a long-running feud over the issue and could end up making the governor’s goal more difficult to achieve. Christie’s actions have provoked a series of lawsuits from towns and advocates that, coupled with the failure of the Republican governor and the majority Democrats to reach a compromise over a new set of rules, have put the judiciary in the position of deciding one of the state’s most intractable political problems. And absent an agreement with the Legislature, an unfavorable ruling from the state Supreme Court in an upcoming case could deal a fatal blow to the governor’s plans.


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