In the 1980s, the New Jersey Supreme Court, in both of the Mount Laurel cases, declared to prevent actions against low-income communities in the state of New Jersey. Mount Laurel I prohibited zoning laws that exclude low-income residents. The state Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to create those zoning laws that discriminated against people who cannot afford certain housing options.
Mount Laurel II was the response to a lack of compliance by the stateJ. Mount Laurel II said that all New Jersey townships had to provide a ‘realistic opportunity’ of housing for individuals on all income levels. And it must be enforced.
These cases should be considered civil rights cases because they involve economic discrimination. Kicking someone out of their housing because they don’t make the amount of money you want them to is revolting.
Yes, I think housing is a civil right because shelter is needed for survival, especially in the U.S. I believe that people should have different opportunities to afford living situations in all townships. Yes, people have different salary wages and some can afford more than others, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to create zoning laws and expensive housing situations to prevent certain economic incomes from living in that area.
According to the New York Times, in January 2013, Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor “asked the court for permission to dismantle the independent state agency that oversees the Mount Laurel process and move its functions into the executive branch. This would defeat the will of the State Legislature, which intended the agency to be exempt from tampering and political pressure exerted by the executive.” This action will turn the clocks back to discriminating against the less fortunate. Anyone should be allowed the opportunity to live, breathe, and exist in any community they wish. Discriminating against economical differences just leads to racial discriminating and segregation.
By Nicole Pierce