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Title: A Tale of Two Towns: A Comparative Study of Affordable Housing Policy in Princeton and Montclair, New Jersey
Authors: Rosario, Mark
Advisors: Bradlow, Benjamin H
Department: Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
Class Year: 2024
Abstract: A crisis in housing affordability in the United States has been growing in recent years, especially in areas of the country where jobs and economic growth have concentrated, like the San Francisco, Boston, and New York metropolitan areas. The cost of living in these areas is either excessively burdensome or simply impossible for low and moderate-income Americans who work there—including essential workers like schoolteachers, firefighters, and nurses. It has been established that economic concentration, combined with a stagnant housing stock in the areas that experience it, lead to higher costs of living, and a higher incidence of homelessness. This thesis aimed to compare two New Jersey towns, Princeton and Montclair, in their efforts to reform their land-use policy to enable the construction of more housing, both in market-rate and designated affordable units. These two towns present a unique opportunity for study, since they are both examples of cities experiencing this cost-of-living crisis, and both are compelled to act affirmatively to enable the provision of affordable housing by New Jersey’s Mount Laurel ruling. This thesis examined municipal planning documents, new municipal ordinances, and local news reports to gain a deeper understanding into the efforts that both towns are making to alleviate this crisis, the effectiveness of the various policies that have been employed, and the sources of community support or opposition that these local governments have faced. In its conclusion, it offers two policy recommendations—collaboration with the community to develop form-based codes, and the creation of financial incentives to increase the number of designated affordable housing units through the use of accessory dwelling units—for municipalities in similar situations.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2024

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