A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that Gov. Chris Christie exceeded his authority when he abolished the state's affordable housing authority.

Thursday's unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel rejected Christie's attempt last year to abolish the Council on Affordable Housing and transfer its duties to the Department of Community Affairs.

The judges wrote that a 1969 reorganization act doesn't give the governor the power to abolish a legislatively created authority. The legislature created the affordable housing council in the 1980s to meet court-ordered requirements that towns provide housing that low- and moderate-income residents can afford.

It has come under criticism for what many believe is a needlessly complex and outdated set of rules.

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