Journal Square Jersey City
Journal Square. Photo by Aaron Morrill

Members of the Journal Square Community Association (JSQCA) have voted to support strict affordable housing requirements within the area covered by the Journal Square 2060 Redevelopment Plan.

“We’ve been working on this for six months. We felt this would be more effective way to get a significant amount of affordable housing in Journal Square” said Bill Armbruster, secretary of the JSQCA.*   “We want to maintain diversity and make it affordable for regular people in Jersey Jersey City.”

The proposal would require all developers of new residential developments with 30 or more units to make 20% of these units available to residents at 60% or below the area median income.  The apartments would have to be maintained in affordable status for 50 years. Developers would not be able to “buy out” these requirements by providing other community benefits. JSQCA members also endorsed development of a tax incentive program to support affordable housing in Journal Square and around the city.

The proposal was developed by a working group of the JSQCA’s Construction and Planning Committee, which reviews proposed developments within the Journal Square area. The JSQCA believes that these changes are necessary because the Plan’s current requirements have not resulted in the development of affordable housing in our area.

The working group included housing professionals with experience at the federal, state, and local levels, including New York City and Newark.

The JSQCA says that it welcomes the Fulop administration’s announcement of a plan to enact a new city-wide Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, which would be applicable to all new developments of 15 units or more seeking a variance. Under the proposed ordinance, projects within the Journal Square 2060 Redevelopment Plan boundaries would be required to set aside 10 percent of units as affordable. However, the JSQCA contends that with rising property values in Journal Square, developers of properties of 30 units or more should be bringing larger proportions of affordable housing units into the neighborhood regardless of whether they are seeking a variance.

*Bill Armbruster is a member of the The Jersey City Times Advisory Board.

Aaron is a writer, musician and lawyer. Aaron attended Berklee College of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase. Aaron served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. He received a J.D....