New Jersey Just Took Bold Action on Exclusionary Zoning. Will Other States Follow Its Model?

Adam Gordon | Next City

With the U.S. in the worst housing affordability crisis of our lifetimes, lawmakers at all levels of government are increasingly feeling pressure to act. In March, President Biden unveiled a housing plan featuring two new tax credits, while state and local leaders across the country are proposing policy measures to protect vulnerable residents and increase the supply of affordable housing.

But these moves pale in comparison to what’s happening in New Jersey. In March, the state enacted wide-ranging legislation that will increase affordable housing over the next decade to address the state’s deficit of over 200,000 affordable homes. The new law ensures New Jersey will have the strongest framework in the country to require affordable homes in historically exclusionary communities.

Many U.S. states could benefit from a framework like New Jersey’s, which obligates each community to change its zoning to provide affordable housing.


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