IN RE FAILURE OF THE COUNCIL ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO ADOPT TRUST FUND COMMITMENT REGULATIONS
A-5257-11T4/A-0122-13T3(CONSOLIDATED)Despite the Legislature's clear and unambiguous direction that the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) promulgate regulations defining when affordable housing trust funds are committed, and despite previously expressing its intention to comply with that command, COAH failed and refused to adopt regulations, leaving municipalities in a morass of uncertainty while facing the prospect of an arbitrary seizure of affordable housing trust funds. In light of both COAH's inaction and the Supreme Court's recent determination that "there no longer exists a legitimate basis to block access to the courts" in affordable housing matters, In re Adoption of N.J.A.C. 5:96 and 5:97, __ N.J. __ (2015) (slip op. at 4), and absent some change in these circumstances, the court enjoined the seizure of any trust funds by COAH or the executive branch and directed that the future disposition of trust funds must come from the courts on a case-by-case basis.