New York case law has created an obligation for communities to provide low-income housing in order to meet regional needs. The courts have found exclusionary zoning to be an unconstitutional practice, and may require communities to amend zoning ordinances that act in an exclusionary manner. The burden for plaintiffs to prove an ordinance is unconstitutionally exclusionary has been greatly impacted by the existence of regional housing studies. However, legislative progress in New York continues to lag behind surrounding states, as New Jersey and Connecticut legislatures have put statutory components in place to ease burden of proof in challenges to exclusionary zoning challenges.
John R. Nolon, Affordable Housing: State Lacks Definition of Need and Municipal Responsibility, New York Law Journal, Apr. 15, 1998, at 5.