MIDDLETOWN-New Jersey is in the middle of an affordable housing boom, mandated by the Fair Share Housing Center. Fair Share Housing Center (FSHC), founded in 1975, is the only public interest organization entirely devoted to defending the housing rights of New Jersey’s poor through enforcement of the Mount Laurel Doctrine, the landmark decision that prohibits economic discrimination through exclusionary zoning and requires all towns to provide their “fair share” of their region’s need for affordable housing.
While many towns are succumbing to the overwhelming demands placed by the FSHC, some towns have fought back and won.
In Middletown, the township withdrew from the FSHC after claiming the commission was holding the town hostage in the name of developers and special interest groups.
“The FSHC is nothing more than an agent of the builder’s lobby trying to impose entirely unreasonable development standards and densities upon suburban communities,” said Deputy Mayor Anthony Fiore. “They have little regard for the environment and even less regard for property taxpayers.”
Middletown withdrew from the FSHC and a judge upheld the decision.
In Brick Township, Mayor John Ducey and his town sued the FSHC and also won. That decision by the New Jersey Superior Court declared Brick has met its fair share housing obligation and would be protected from future builders remedy lawsuits.
Other towns, have not been as successful or have not put up a fight to the FSHC.
In the end, builders, engineers, architects and politicians are the winners in the affordable housing boom. The losers are the residents of New Jersey and the environment as hundreds of acres per month are approved across New Jersey to be stripped of their natural resources and turned into high density, low-income housing.