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Watson Coleman: Gov. Christie’s Disregard of COAH Court Order Yet Another Example of Indifference & Arrogance that Permeates his Office

Christie administration slammed by appeals court for failing to follow Supreme Court order compelling the state to address NJ’s affordable housing shortage

(TRENTON) – Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Mercer/Hunterdon) today issued the following statement criticizing Gov. Christie’s disregard for New Jerseyans in need of affordable housing, following the administration’s defiance of court orders requiring the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) to draft rules that would clear the way for towns to start building affordable housing:

“I wish I could say I was surprised by this, but this fits the pattern of behavior typical of this governor. Anytime the governor doesn’t want to do something, he simply disregards the rules.

“This mean-spirited behavior did not go unnoticed by a panel of Appellate Division judges who took great exception to the governor ignoring the state Supreme Court and its ruling.

“The high court was very clear in its directive: the administration had until Feb. 26 to issue the rules. The fact that COAH did not bother to meet to discuss the mandate since the deadline was issued back in September shows the administration’s lack of interest in complying with the order.

“We know the governor is no fan of the state’s affordable housing system, and has overstepped his authority more than once in attempts to weaken it. The governor tried to take affordable housing funds away from towns and even abolish the agency, but was stopped by the courts. Now we have this.

“This reeks of arrogance and is further indication that he doesn’t think the rules apply to him.

“New Jersey’s affordable housing shortage is no secret. Neither is the fact that we are one of the most expensive states to live in. Why then does the governor insist on fighting solutions that could bring relief to residents struggling to make ends meet and keep a roof over their heads?”