To the residents of a controversial housing project in Mount Laurel, NJ, the quiet, suburban apartments have meant far more than just an affordable place to live. They've meant a far better life.
That's the conclusion of a recent study by Princeton University, detailed and discussed in a podcast and by Nancy Solomon of New Jersey Public Radio, an NJ Spotlight partner.
Yet the Mount Laurel decision, whatever it's success, is anything but popular -- as Solomon explores. Gov. Chris Christie has dismissed the law as "an abomination" and is hoping to have it overturned by the State Supreme Court -- the first time that body will hear the decision in more than two decades.
Other opponents of the law are quick to point out problems and failings, including "situations where cemeteries were identified as developable land, [or] open space . . . the median of the parkway was misidentified," according to Michael Cerra, legislative analyst for the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
But for all its failings, as Solomon explores, Mount Laurel has meant better jobs, better schools, and -- to come full circle -- a better life for New Jerseyans scattered across the state.