Earlier today, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey sided with Fair Share Housing Center when it found Englewood Cliffs in violation of their settlement agreement under the Mount Laurel Doctrine. The Court declared that “the time for delaying constitutional compliance is over.” The decision clears the way for the very first affordable homes in Englewood Cliffs to be built.
Last year, one of the sites in the settlement agreement was awarded Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency thanks to the leadership of Lt. Governor Oliver and Executive Director Melanie Walter.
Another site in the agreement—800 Sylvan Avenue—has also secured approvals to convert a large, obsolete office building into an inclusionary affordable housing development. Both sites are now free to move forward with construction as a result of this ruling.
In response to the decision, Fair Share Housing Center issued the following statement.
Josh Bauers, Staff Attorney, Fair Share Housing Center:
“Today’s decision is a win for the people of New Jersey. This case is a prime example of the extreme lengths that a municipality will go to exclude low- and moderate-income New Jerseyans. Englewood Cliffs has gone above and beyond to avoid compliance and delay construction of affordable homes as required by New Jersey’s Constitution. In fact, the Borough has not allowed a single affordable home to be built in Englewood Cliffs since Mount Laurel I was decided in 1975. Not a single home.
“There is no place for such discrimination and exclusion in New Jersey. Fair Share Housing Center is committed to safeguarding the right for all New Jerseyans to choose where they want to reside—to creating more inclusive and vibrant communities where all people, regardless of their economic or racial background, have an equal opportunity to thrive.”