the staff of the Ridgewood blog
River Vale NJ, On May 31st, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi participated in NJ Spotlight’s roundtable on Affordable Housing. The roundtable event addressed the history of the affordable housing issue in New Jersey – from the Mount Laurel decisions to the current court process – and the effect the issue has on municipalities across the State.
The state has been riddled with legal battle over affordable housing. Currently , Ridgewood and Franklin lakes are engage in lawsuits over affordable housing.
Two opposing forces in the statewide debate over affordable housing obligations, Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (R-39) and Fair Share Housing Center attorney Kevin Walsh .
They went head to head along with three other panelists in a livestreamed debate May 31 on how best to fulfill affordable housing obligations.
Assemblywoman Schepisi has been at the forefront of discussions over the State’s affordable housing and over-development crisis and has been a tireless advocate of taking a new approach – one that will serve the best interests of all residents. She recognizes the current approach is one that does not work, with District 39 residents paying some of the nation’s highest property taxes and simultaneously being saddled with affordable housing obligations that are unconscionable.
Schepisi has been outspoken on the issue for several years, leading a charge recently to take the issue away from superior courts and get legislators to act on reform bills she helped sponsor in 2018.
She previously alleged as have others that Walsh used bullying tactics to get towns to build affordable units and also that Walsh labels officials and legislators who oppose the current system for providing affordable housing “racist”—a charge she mentioned again in calling for more open discussion of the issue.
“There is an absolute need for affordability, there’s an absolute need to do it smartly. And we can’t shut down the conversation by just saying because somebody wants to see something done maybe better or differently, therefore racial segregation. It’s a total B.S. response, it’s something we need to be honest about and we need to be able to move forward together,” Schepisi said in concluding her remarks.
|CLICK HERE for the NJ Spotlight recap page.|