Affordable Housing

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How might we help make the discovery and navigation of the affordable housing application process in the Princeton municipality more streamlined and humane?

Access to affordable housing can have a significant impact on the quality of life of tenants/owners, as well as an impact on the economic and social wellbeing of our community. However, in addition to a growing waitlist for affordable housing, there is a population who is eligible, yet unenrolled.

For this Tiger Challenge, a team will seek to better understand the complications of applying to affordable housing in the Princeton municipality. The team will investigate the context of this application process -- the interrelation of the five entities that confer affordable housing in Princeton, awareness of affordable housing options, and the interactions between these entities and their applicants. After conducting a broad research phase, the student team will focus on a small number of opportunities for design and build solution(s) to better serve the Princeton community.

Students

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    Douglas Bastidas

    Douglas is a rising senior majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School. His experiences working at an Indian solar LED manufacturing plant and a Peruvian solar energy education NGO have spurred his passion for sustainable development solutions. His personal convictions and experiences have developed his strong interests in immigration and prison/policing reform, mental health support and destigmatization, and addressing socio- economic inequities and resource accessibility gaps. In his free time, he enjoys dancing, cycling, and playing soccer.

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    Edric Huang

    Edric is a rising junior at Princeton, where he studies Anthropology, Urbanism, and Poetry. His personal observations of family members living in NYC Chinatown's low-income housing as well as his academic research in critical race studies and gentrification, brought him to this project. Edric spends most of his spare time engaging in political activism and the performing arts, and is especially interested in art as a means of healing and personal, political, and social expression.

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    Suzhen Jiang

    Suzhen (pronounced "Susan") is a rising sophomore planning to major in Computer Science. She is interested in exploring how machine learning and artificial intelligence can help people understand and solve societal problems. She is also considering certificates in Creative Writing, Linguistics, and/or Statistics and Machine Learning.

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    Julian Junior Perez

    Julian is a Senior in the Anthropology Department. On campus, he is involved in Princeton DREAM Team, Ballet Folklorico, and Princeton University's Latinx Perspective Organization (PULPO). His interest is in the advancement of people of color and creating better environments for people of color on campus.

Mentors

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    Carol Golden

    Carol Golden is an attorney by training who has made community service her career. While raising her two sons, she has been committed to using her skills and energy to volunteer for several non-profit organizations in the Princeton area and to try to improve the lives of her neighbors. Carol is excited about and appreciative of the opportunity to serve as the Interim Chair of Housing Initiatives of Princeton (HIP), an organization that has been fighting homelessness by providing transitional housing to families in Princeton. Through her work with the Joint Consolidation Commission and the Affordable Housing Board of Princeton, Carol has learned about and understands the needs of those in our community who may need a helping hand to be able to thrive here.

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    Marty Johnson

    Martin Johnson is Founder and CEO of Isles, Inc., an urban sustainable development organization that fosters self-reliance and healthy neighborhoods. Founded in 1981, Isles arose from a student-initiated seminar and thesis at Princeton University in 1981. Nationally recognized as a model for innovative and effective nonprofit development, Isles has received awards from the U.S. EPA, the White House, the United Nations, and numerous other organizations. Isles work includes community planning and green real estate development, wealth creation, environmental health, urban agriculture, education for under-served high school drop-outs and job training.

    Mr. Johnson co-founded other development organizations and projects, including: New Jersey Community Capital, Housing and Community Development Network of NJ, Building One New Jersey and the Success Measures Project, a national effort to develop impact measures for community-building work.

    Marty is a 1981 graduate and former trustee of Princeton University, where he played football and baseball. He came back to teach a course on Rethinking Poverty: Community Development Research and Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1996. He is a trustee of the Capital Health System and National Housing Institute. Marty and his wife Liz raised three sons in Trenton, New Jersey. Marty is the James Wei Visiting Professor in Entrepreneurship at Princeton University's Engineering School for the 2015-17 academic years.

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    David Kinsey

    David N. Kinsey, FAICP, *71*75, is a a Princeton-based planning consultant specializing in affordable housing planning. His most significant current project is developing and litigating the fair share housing methodology to define the state constitutional housing obligations of New Jersey’s 565 municipalities, in collaboration with Fair Share Housing Center, the nonprofit advocate and defender of New Jersey’s Mount Laurel doctrine on affordable housing. A Visiting Lecturer in Public and International Affairs since 1998, Kinsey teaches planning theory and practice, affordable housing, land use policy and planning, and diverse policy workshops at the Woodrow Wilson School.

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    Christy Peacock

    Anna Christy Peacock – Christy’s career path has included real estate, (as a REALTOR, she received GRI national accreditation); and tax assessing, (after obtaining the NJ Certified Tax Assessor designation, she was appointed as an Assistant Tax Assessor in Princeton Township). For the past 18 years, she has been Princeton’s Affordable Housing Coordinator, first in the Township, and now in consolidated Princeton. She currently serves as the Administrative Agent for the municipal program, and as Municipal Housing Liaison and Fair Housing Officer for Princeton.

    She was also a founding member and a Director on the board of the Affordable Housing Professionals of New Jersey. In that capacity, she served as Education Committee Co-chair, and assisted Rutgers Center for Government Services and AHPNJ in course development curriculum that is the basis for statewide accreditation of affordable housing professionals.

    Christy graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science degree, with a focus on Interior Design.

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    Sheila Pontis

    Sheila Pontis is a partner at Sense Information Design LLC, a New York-area design consultancy that helps bring focus and clarity to any situation. She is also lecturer at Princeton University teaching creativity, innovation and design (EGR 200 - formerly EGR 392), and honorary research associate at University College London (UK). She began her career in design practice, but gradually developed an interest for the conceptual side of the problem-solving process, pursuing academic research on sensemaking and understanding people’s behaviors and interactions with information. For over 15 years, she has been teaching and facilitating workshops on information design, design research and ethnography, and design thinking in Argentina, Spain and the UK. She has produced work for diverse industries and organizations in the United States, South America and Europe including Pfizer, TfL, Elsevier, Unilever and NHS. She received her BA in Graphic Design from University of Buenos Aires (Argentina), her PGDip in Editorial Techniques and MPhil in Diagramming from University of Barcelona (Spain), and her PhD in Information Design from University of the Arts London (UK). Since 2014, she is a Fellow member of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) in the UK.