Insider NJ

Protest To Policy Series: Inclusionary Zoning

Insider NJ — July 30, 2020

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka and Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla joined advocates and experts today for a virtual town hall and roundtable on the topic of Inclusionary Zoning as part of the Protest to Policy Series. The Protest to Policy Series is sponsored by the Fare Share Housing Center, New Jersey Citizen Action and Salvation and Social Justice It is intended to help the public convert their energy and activism in protest for Black Lives Matter and racial justice into advocacy for concrete policies that advance racial, social, and economic justice.

Zoning is a tool that can be used to create healthy, diverse and stable communities. Unfortunately, historically it has produced the opposite effect and has perpetuated redlining, segregation, and displacement. This evening, Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark and Mayor Ravi Bhalla of Hoboken discussed the status and implementation of Inclusionary Zoning policies in their respective cities. Inclusionary zoning is meant to ensure affordable housing alongside the continued development of our cities. Its goal is to require new housing developments or buildings undergoing substantial changes to make a certain percentage of the housing units affordable to moderate- and low-income residents. Newark and Hoboken already have inclusionary zoning requirements in place. Jersey City is currently debating two different proposed inclusionary zones and the council is expected to finalize and vote on a proposal in early August.

"As a national movement for racial, social and economic justice takes off in the form of protest and civil disobedience, emerging leaders are working to convert that that energy into concrete policy advocacy," said New Jersey Citizen Action Financial Justice Organizer Beverly Brown Ruggia. "Tonight the NJ Future Leaders Protest to Policy Coalition invited the public to learn about the significance of inclusionary zoning ordinances to New Jerseyans and to actively engage in the struggle to secure affordable housing for all."

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