As part of the program of The Color of Law Public Policy Forum, Felicia Alston-Singleton, Fair Housing Officer for the City of Newark and Resident Advocate for Public (NHA), Private, and Market Rate Housing will join a panel discussion.
About five years ago, Alston-Singleton became an advocate representing herself in court when facing eviction as a victim of an unscrupulous landlord. She advocates for tenants in public and subsidized housing around the city.
She began studying the NJ Tenants Rights handbook. Eventually the Housing Authority repaired her apartments’ problem with backed-up sewage in her unit.
Shelterforce blogger Keli A. Tianga wrote about Newark, “Although Newark has some of the region’s largest cultural and academic institutions, such as Rutgers University’s Newark campus, the NJ Performing Arts Center, and Seton Hall Law School, it is no exception. The major issues for residents here are affordability, stability, and housing quality and safety. One organizer pointed out another who hasn’t had pest control visit his building in the 16 months he’s lived there, and is now being forced to contact Code Enforcement.”
Writes Tianga, “As people walk up looking for help, she lets them know that they are there to ‘educate, empower, and strengthen the community.’”
The City of Newark is tearing down affordable housing units and replacing it with luxury apartments leading to an even bigger housing affordability problem.
The mission of the Greater Newark HUD Tenants Coalition is to fight for tenants’ rights and to encourage and preserve low-income affordable housing.
The Tenants Coalition’s membership includes public housing tenant organizations, tenants living in subsidized housing, public housing residents, private housing residents and homeowners. Tenants make up a significant group in the City of Newark with 73% of the city’s population renting their homes.
c and private federal subsidized housing residents, andcreate a strong inclusionary zoning ordinance.
As the subsidized housing stock decreases in Newark, inclusionary housing becomes a larger tool in creating affordable housing.
The Newark Housing Authority, like many housing authorities across the country, has faced decreasing federal U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban (HUD) funding in recent years which translates until less staffing and funds for maintenance and repair work orders.