New Jersey

Gov. Christie Headed to Court to Fight Housing Agency

Trying to loosen regulations and abolish agency that enforces the rules


Governor Christie's long and contentious battle to weaken New Jersey's strict affordable housing requirements will reach a crucial moment today when the state Supreme Court considers whether to allow him to unilaterally abolish the agency that enforces housing rules.

Not only do advocates fear Christie will use the opportunity to undermine rules that require towns to build housing for low-income residents, they say it would set a dangerous precedent and give New Jersey's governor, viewed as one of the most powerful in the country, even more control over state government.

Critics plan to argue that Christie could gain control over dozens of currently independent state agencies that oversee everything from enforcing campaign finance laws to development in the Highlands.

The issue of affordable housing in New Jersey, the nation's most densely populated state, has been contentious for decades, fought as much in political campaigns large and small as it has in the courts since a series of landmark rulings beginning in the 1970s.