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Advocates ask New Jersey court to take over affordable housing implementation

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TRENTON, New Jersey — Affordable housing advocates in New Jersey have asked the state's courts to take over enforcement of a law intended to ensure homes will be within the financial reach of low- and moderate-income residents.

In a court filing Friday, Fair Share Housing Center said Gov. Chris Christie's administration has not done the job.

The issue has been the subject of litigation for decades, and Friday's move from the state's foremost affordable housing group did not come as a surprise.

Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the state Attorney General's Office, which defends the state government in lawsuits, said he would not comment on the filing.

The state Supreme Court earlier this year gave the state Council on Affordable Housing until November to adopt and publish rules governing how many affordable homes each town is responsible for providing.

The council recently refused to adopt rules proposed by Christie's administration, citing several problems with them. Fair Share applauded council members for not going along with the administration's proposal, saying the plan had errors, such as misidentifying which county certain towns were in.

The group also says the rules had major policy flaws, such as not providing for rental affordable housing.

As a result of the council's decision to reject the proposal, the state is missing its deadline to have rules in place.

The housing group says the task of deciding how the state's affordable housing law is carried out should instead be assigned to a small group of Superior Court judges.

The state League of Municipalities has suggested a different course and is asking lawmakers to make changes to the law itself.

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