State Supreme Court keeps administration from seizing affordable housing funds

TRENTON – The state Supreme Court kept in place a lower court injunction Tuesday that keeps the administration, for the moment, from claiming $165 million in affordable housing funds from municipalities.

The administration has argued it has the right to take control of the money if towns don’t commit to using it within a time frame.

Advocates Fair Share Housing Center had argued the Christie administration’s bid to take control violated state regulations.

“The Court did not allow the Administration to ignore the laws on the books,” said Kevin D. Walsh, associate director of FSHC, in a release. “This money is needed to recover from Hurricane Sandy. More than half of the money is from the nine counties hit hardest by the storm. The Administration is blocking homes from being built or fixed up at the worst possible time, when rents are increasing and homes are scarce.”

The high court did vacate a portion of the lower court’s stay order, thus allowing the Council on Affordable Housing to continue gathering information and evaluating towns’ submissions.

The decision was 4-2, with justices Rabner, Albin, LaVecchia and Rodriguez in the majority.  Justices Hoens and Patterson voted in vacate the stay order altogether.

The administration has stated the money will still be used for affordable housing purposes.

Earlier story:

Dems write to court over state’s attempt to seize funds

State Supreme Court keeps administration from seizing affordable housing funds