A New Jersey appeals court panel has ruled that New Jersey's Department of Community Affairs cannot take affordable housing funds away from towns.

In a divided ruling, a three-judge panel ruled that only the state board called the Council on Affordable Housing -- or COAH -- has the power to seize money collected by municipalities to meet affordable housing requirements.

The ruling follows a state Supreme Court ruling last month that found Gov. Chris Christie's administration does not have the authority to dissolve the agency.

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