Now, just when news breaks that poverty is at the highest rate as long as records have been kept in America, Governor Christie has announced permissive rules for communities seeking waivers from affordable housing obligations. According to today’s Inquirer story, the Christie administration’s Office of Community affairs can clear development after a ten-day waiting period. The Governor’s office says reducing regulation will speed development and create jobs. It will also remove clear standards for meeting the Mount Laurel obligation that every community provide its fair share of affordable housing. The Council on Affordable Housing had very few fans in the state, even among affordable housing advocates, but the new rules provide no assurance that the severe need for affordable housing in decent locations near employment opportunities will follow. This is bad for New Jersey residents currently concentrated in post-industrial cities like Camden and for those facing displacement in redevelopment areas like Mount Holly. It’s hard to imagine how the New Jersey Supreme Court will tolerate this development, unless, of course, the governor succeeds in changing its composition significantly, a goal he has clearly laid out for himself.