In re Adoption of 2003 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Qualified Allocation Plan

369 N.J. Super. 2 (2004)

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In re Adoption of 2003 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Qualified Allocation Plan

New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division
369 N.J. Super. 2 (2004)

Facts

The New Jersey Housing Mortgage Finance Agency (agency) (defendant) administered the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, which provided tax credits to developers and owners of low-income rental housing. Historically, affordable housing was concentrated in urban areas. Because racial minorities were generally unable to afford the housing available in suburban areas, racial minorities comprised a high percentage of the population in urban areas. Each year, the agency adopted a qualified allocation plan (QAP), which specified the standards used to allocate tax credits. The 2003 QAP did not separate urban and suburban housing into different funding categories. In adopting this plan, the agency intended to make affordable housing available in all areas of New Jersey. Moreover, the 2003 QAP set aside tax credits for mixed-income housing. By incentivizing housing for families and individuals of varying incomes, the agency sought to reduce the concentration of racial minorities in urban areas. Four public-interest organizations (plaintiffs) challenged the 2003 QAP, contending that it violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Specifically, the organizations argued that the 2003 QAP perpetuated the segregation of racial minorities in urban areas. The agency denied the organizations’ request for an administrative hearing. Subsequently, the organizations appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Havey, J.)

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