This op-ed by Yale Law School's Peter Schuck is quite sensible. He examines the social havoc wreaked by a New Jersey Supreme Court decision (Mount Laurel) that basically allowed state judges to create or modify zoning laws.
The Mount Laurel approach is a throwback to a time when judges ordered top-down social change. Housing markets, however, are too complex and dynamic for courthouse engineering. A better approach to improving options for low-income families is to give them vouchers and help them find housing in places where they want to live.