2022 Meck Memorial Lecture: A Multi-Perspective View of Affordable Housing

February 17, 2022

The Bloustein School is pleased to present the 2022 Stuart Meck Memorial Lecture, “Affordable Housing: National, State, and Local Perspectives,” on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.

A recording of the lecture is now available.

Eight decades ago, the landmark 1949 Housing Act declared a national goal of a “decent home and suitable living environment” for all Americans. Half a century ago, the landmark New Jersey Mount Laurel I decision mandated that Garden State municipalities provide their “fair share” of affordable housing. Yet affordable, equitable access to shelter remains a pressing societal challenge. This lecture will provide a critical forum for examining affordable housing past, present, and future from the multiple perspectives of national, state, and local government.

David Listokin, Distinguished Professor and Co-Director, Center for Urban Policy Research, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, will moderate the panel. Guest panelists will discuss various perspectives on the topic.

“Affordable Housing and Racial Justice: Lessons from the New Jersey State Experience”

James C. Williams IV is FSHC’s Director of Racial Justice Policy. He joined Fair Share Housing Center in 2019 after working for Philadelphia Works and previously New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. Williams attended Fayetteville State University in North Carolina where he received both his B.A. and M.S. degrees. He has been an advocate for civil rights and social justice throughout his career.

“U.S. Federal Housing Policy: Century Overview from Public Housing to ‘Build Back Better’”

Eric Seymour is an Assistant Professor at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. He holds a Ph.D. in urban and regional planning from the University of Michigan and was most recently a postdoctoral research associate at the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. Eric’s research is broadly concerned with neighborhood dynamics in the aftermath of the financial crisis and their implications for the health and housing insecurity of disadvantaged populations. He continues to be engaged in research on transformations in urban housing markets in places hit hard by the foreclosure crisis, where investors purchased large numbers of repossessed properties and sold them on insecure terms or rented them in uninhabitable conditions to low-income and credit-constrained households. He continues to engage in research on evictions in Detroit and Las Vegas, focusing on the intersection of opportunistic property investment and the constrained housing options of low-income renters. Eric is currently a principal investigator on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-supported project examining the state of affordable rental housing in New Jersey.

“Local Perspectives on Affordable Housing”

Elizabeth McManus, MCRP ’10, Principal, Kyle + McManus Associates has more than 17 years of experience in both public- and private-sector planning. She has prepared numerous planning-related studies, including master plan elements, reexamination reports, redevelopment investigations and plans, special area studies, open space, and farmland preservation plans, housing plans, and development regulations, for a variety of municipal and private clients and has advised dozens of municipal planning boards, zoning boards and governing bodies on public policy and land development practice. She also has extensive experience serving in the role of special master for the New Jersey Superior Court in more than 40 cases where municipalities are seeking review and approval of their housing plans. Her experience extends from the state’s smallest boroughs to the largest cities.

The Stuart Meck Memorial Lecture was endowed by the late Stuart Meck, an Associate Research Professor, and director of the Center for Planning Practice at the Bloustein School, and established by his family in 2018. Stuart Meck was a renowned specialist in land use controls and reform with 45 years of experience in planning, research, and municipal administration. He is considered a pioneer of smart growth with its emphasis on compact development, natural resource protection, and affordable housing. The Stuart Meck Memorial lecture selects speakers who rank among contemporary practitioners of planning and policy development from within or outside of New Jersey. This series further strives to represent the diversity of opinions and positions currently under public and academic debate.

Previous speakers have included Rachel Haot, Executive Director of the Transit Innovation Partnership; Robin Leichenko, Professor and Chair, Department of Geography, Rutgers University; and Lisa K. Bates, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University.

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