Keeping the Heights Affordable Forum

Brian Rans is a tenants rights lawyer who lives in the Heights. We’ve been talking for a very long time about doing a forum on housing in the Heights,” Mo Kinberg told me.

On Thursday, April 20, at 7pm, it’s happening at St. John’s Lutheran Church (155 North Street.)

“It’s an educational forum,” Kinberg explained. “Larry Sindoni, a coworker of Brian’s, is going to come and talk about homeowner rights and tenants rights. Then we’ll have a panel talking about what we can do in terms of policy to keep the Heights affordable.”

The panel includes Rev. Eric Dobson from Fair Share Housing, the group working on the Mt. Laurel Doctrine, which has led to the development of over 60,000 affordable housing units outside New Jersey’s racially and economically-segregated urban centers. Rev. Dobson will be able to talk about what’s happening statewide, and what’s been working in other cities. “His experience will be great for us as a way to think about what we can do here,” said Kinberg.

Also on the panel will be Marc Munley from NJ Community Capital – they’re a nonprofit developer that provides innovative financing and technical assistance to foster the creation of quality homes, educational facilities, and employment opportunities in under served communities of New Jersey. “They will be able to talk about what ordinances could help us here in the Heights. Part of what they do is rebuild and rehab – and because they’re a non-profit, they can do a lot in terms of creative housing,” Kinberg told me.

Rolando Lavarro, Jersey City Council President, is going to talk about the city’s part, and what the city is already doing. “Jersey City has built more affordable housing in the past 3 ½ years than in the previous 10 years,” said Lavarro, “It has been our priority to preserve what affordable housing we already have and to expand affordable housing throughout the city in the future.”

“It’s an educational forum,” Kinberg finished. “It’s intended to start a conversation, to get people thinking about this. We’re not advocating anything specifically – we’re not trying to put anyone on the spot, we’re just trying to contribute to the conversation. This is a starting point.”

Keeping The Heights Affordable Flyer

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Mel Kozakiewicz a professor, editor, writer, and mother of two.

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