Residential and Social Outcomes for Residents Living in Housing Certified by the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing

26 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2011

See all articles by Stephanie R. Bush-Baskette

Stephanie R. Bush-Baskette

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Kelly Robinson

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Peter Simmons

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Law School

Date Written: June 15, 2011

Abstract

In 1975, the New Jersey Supreme Court held in Southern Burlington County NAACP v. Township of Mt. Laurel that a developing municipality had the responsibility to afford a realistic opportunity for the construction of its fair share of the present and prospective regional need for low and moderate income housing. This decision, known as Mount Laurel I, was followed by additional court decisions, state legislation, and executive orders aimed at ensuring that households of low and moderate income were given the opportunity to move from urban to suburban areas. Previously published studies have reported the number of housing units required and provided under the law, the evolution of the Mount Laurel doctrine and the demographics of the applicants for such housing. However, there have been few published studies that explore the residential and social outcomes experienced by households that moved to suburban housing.

In this research, we surveyed residents of housing built in compliance with the Mount Laurel decisions to assess their residential and social outcomes. There are no prior statistical surveys of residents of affordable housing in the state, so we cannot make statistical conclusions about the representativeness of our sample. However, we make a strong logical argument that the sample appears reasonable given what we would expect the population to look like.

A large majority of residents surveyed have changed municipalities before arriving in their current unit. These moves have overwhelmingly been from more urban to less urban municipalities and from municipalities with lower median income to municipalities with higher median income. In most instances, the surveyed residents indicate that these moves have been accompanied by job opportunities, financial well-being, and access to services (including schools) that are equal to or better than where they lived previously. One exception to this is that their new municipalities tend to have less public transportation. Despite this, there is no strong evidence that moving has caused residents to lose touch with old friends. They also appear to make more friends the longer they have been in their new municipality. Most respondents indicated that they are more satisfied with both their current municipality and unit than where they lived previously. Given the opportunity, most respondents told us that they will stay where they are. We also find that moving has tended to be accompanied by greater concentration into a relative small number of municipalities. In most instances the reported results appear to be broad-based, meaning that we are not able to identify subgroups of the sample that might be influencing the results disproportionately.

Suggested Citation

Bush-Baskette, Stephanie R. and Robinson, Kelly and Simmons, Peter, Residential and Social Outcomes for Residents Living in Housing Certified by the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (June 15, 2011). Rutgers Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1865342

Stephanie R. Bush-Baskette (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Kelly Robinson

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ( email )

180 University Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102
United States

Peter Simmons

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Rutgers Law School ( email )

Newark, NJ
United States

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