The Princeton Public Library will host a panel discussion on Saturday December 10, focusing on housing in Princeton. The program begins at 11 a.m. with a discussion of the causes of the housing crisis. The median value of properties in Princeton is now over $1.1 million, leading to a loss of middle-class families from the town, and massive pressure on low-income residents. At 1 p.m. Princeton University graduate student Matt Mleczko, who is a member of the Princeton Affordable Housing Board, will lead a solutions-oriented discussion with experts in housing justice. At 2 p.m, there will be an opportunity for participants to meet and discuss with housing providers and organizations working on housing-related efforts. In-person registration for the event has closed, but the event can be streamed live via Zoom at this link: Zoom Link for Princeton Library Housing Event.
The event has been co-organized by Princeton Public Library staff and Matt Mleczko, with help from local non-profits including Arm in Arm, Habitat for Humanity, and Housing Initiatives of Princeton. Discussing housing is very timely, as Princeton is currently engaging in a serious effort to rewrite the town ‘Master Plan’ for the first time since 1996. Although significant amounts of new housing are now under construction in Princeton, that housing is for the most part required to be built because of state housing laws, which require all towns to contribute their ‘fair share’ to state housing need. The town’s existing Master Plan did not provide enough detail on where new affordable housing should be built, so local officials ended up selecting sites for affordable housing without any substantial public input.
Reached by email, Matt Mleczko said, “we might agree on many of the problems (e.g., housing is too expensive), but we don’t agree on the causes or solutions”. The event could potentially help clarify how and where Princeton residents would like to add new housing, which could inform the current process of writing a new Master Plan for the town. As Mlezcko says, “my goal is for attendees to walk away from this event inspired and equipped to do something about these problems. And ideally, we could channel this positive momentum into getting this master plan rewrite and our next fair share plan right.”
Full details about the event (via Princeton Public Library): https://princetonlibrary.libnet.info/event/7330561
Link for Zoom registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsf-2orjItG9WD5rYBvMKu5Px7e4Kz2OPC%20