On March 20, 2024, Governor Murphy signed a bill that modifies the requirements by which every municipality must fulfill the mandate to provide housing for low and moderate income families, as set forth by the Mount Laurel Doctrine.

Based on a 1975 New Jersey Supreme Court ruling, the Mount Laurel Doctrine created a constitutional mandate for New Jersey municipalities to provide a “fair share” of their region’s need for affordable housing. The Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) was created in 1985 by the New Jersey Legislature in response to the Fair Housing Act of 1985 to ensure that all 566 New Jersey municipalities provided their fair share of low and moderate income housing.

In 2019, Haworth Borough was able to successfully petition the Superior Court of NJ to lessen the original number of units that the state was mandating to satisfy its Third Round obligation with its prospective plans for development.

The passage of the March 2024 legislation not only provides a new process for determining Fourth Round obligations as well as a timeline of compliance to which the Borough must adhere but also abolishes COAH as the governing entity. The number of units that a municipality is obligated to build will now be determined by the Department of Community Affairs.

In an effort to help the community understand what this means for the Borough, we will be hosting an informational Town Hall meeting. This will give us an opportunity to discuss the situation in greater detail, as well as other considerations, including:

• Maintaining the residential quality and characteristic of Haworth that is vital to us all while fulfilling the challenging mandates set forth by the legislation;

• Keeping control of building locations with consideration given to vacant land adjustments, open space restrictions and environmental sustainability.

Join us on Monday, April 29, at 7:30 pm, in the Community Room of The First Congregational Church, Haworth Avenue


Your Mayor and Council