Guest Column

Affordable Housing in Newark – A More Informed Path Forward

24 Jones, a recently completed luxury apartment complex in the University Heights section of Newark's Central Ward.

I am both a beneficiary and benefactor of affordable housing in Newark. My parents both played key roles in organizing and implementing the first wave of low income and affordable housing in the City of Newark more than 50 years ago and in so doing, they created the template for many of the community development organizations, which have and continue to do business in the City of Newark. 

I was also born and raised in housing originally built for low-income families, so I am deeply rooted in the sensitivities of this subject matter.    

As such, I had a front row seat to the fundamental inner workings of Newark’s earliest iterations of providing housing for its low and moderate-income families.  I have a keen appreciation for the challenges and complications in setting strategy and policy to make such an effort successful.  

Sign Up for E-News

While much has changed over the last 50 years, I have never stopped advocating for best practices in the development of affordable housing in the most thoughtful and strategic manner possible. 

My opinion column of July 21, 2017 has brought about an extraordinary amount of positive commentary both locally and regionally from all sides of the issue.  At the same time, it has prompted much needed additional discussion on the current version of the inclusionary zoning ordinance under consideration, and the manner in which it is currently conceptualized and framed.

This is precisely what I had hoped for, a more comprehensive, critical and thoughtful conversation on an enormously complex set of dynamics that will impact Newark and its residents for decades to come.  

My concern of course, is that the governing body pushes forward with a hastily crafted one-dimensional approach to a multi-dimensional problem.  

This is a policy decision that has long-term implications on the city’s ability to provide housing for not just its low and moderate-income families, but also its homeless and those newcomers that are willing to take a chance on Newark after years of shunning the thought.  

It is also a decision that will impact the very core of the city’s fiscal condition, which at the moment cannot even bear a minor misstep at the hands of a policy blunder. 

What I have discovered since the printing of my original opinion piece has confirmed the fears of so many stakeholders in the city.  

Specifically, the most forceful proponents of the inclusionary zoning ordinance in its current form don’t fully comprehend its content, its requirements, its compliance and administration, its off-market terms and, most of all, the impact it will have on investment and financing for both market-rate housing and importantly, affordable, low-income and workforce housing in the city.  

My efforts on this matter are not a “campaign being waged against the inclusionary zoning ordinance,” but are borne of a startling lack of understanding by its advocates of even the most basic components of the ordinance.

The problem is not one of confusion on the part of the governing body, the solution to which can be easily corrected by a few tweaks to the language and re-voted upon this week.  

It goes much deeper than that. We have not done our homework. We have not fully engaged all of the critical stakeholders. We have not brought the appropriate professional resources to the table. We have allowed politics to trump sound policy.  

Yet we insist on pursuing a path that will likely prove to be a square peg for a round hole, a peg that partially worked for California or maybe Boston. But for Newark? We have no idea.

The not-for-profit community seems to acknowledge that the inclusionary zoning ordinance is not a cure-all for the city’s housing challenges, but yet fails to mention what other measures it or the city has or should be taking as part of what should be a multi-pronged approach to addressing the issue.  

A brief summary of some of the critical issues and policy that remain unaddressed in the inclusionary zoning ordinance as currently drafted:   

  • How to preserve existing low and moderate income housing in addition to building new units.
  • Addressing the enormous stock of existing underutilized or dormant housing and vacant land in the city, both publicly and privately owned.
  • Setting aggressive policy, enforcement and recapture of properties that are subject to previous development agreements, in-rem foreclosures and other code violations.
  • Ensuring that the city’s traditional not-for-profit partners are properly deploying public resources, land and tax concessions.
  • Pursuing other creative sources of subsidized financing to offset the impact of the set-aside. This is especially critical given the impending federal budget cuts to the low-income housing tax credit program.
  • Provision and financing of greater home-ownership opportunities.
  • A broader sourcing for funding of the proposed Affordable Housing Trust Fund (not just new market-rate residential development).
  • A direct link between new affordable housing development and job training/apprentice programs including strict adherence and compliance with local/minority sourcing. 
  • Exploration of a single-family rental program or fund for the countless scattered site homes now unoccupied or underutilized. 
  • A plan for developing and funding housing for the homeless.  

As for the terms of the inclusionary zoning ordinance itself, I have received the most feedback questioning the practicality of the following provisions:

  • The procedures for the proposed “random selection process”.
  • The process for determining and valuing the “payment in lieu”.
  • The city’s right of first refusal to purchase after the 30-year control period.
  • The process by which Newark residents will be given “preference” for the units
  • The ability of the city to administer and force compliance with the ordinance.

This is just a small sampling of what I believe must be addressed in the context of crafting an inclusionary zoning ordinance. I will not create policy in a vacuum.  

It is just plain wrong to think that we are serving our community by taking a piecemeal and largely uninformed approach to a much more comprehensive challenge that we are now faced with.  

We can’t simply rely on the statements of those few that have worked on crafting the inclusionary zoning ordinance, many of whom have vested interests one side of the issue or the other.  

We must also be cautious not to apply old solutions and formulas that have worked in other cities but have little or uncertain applicability to Newark.  

I cordially invite my council colleagues, the private sector and the not-for profit community to mobilize and challenge themselves to work smarter and with dispatch in the best interests of the citizens of Newark, rather than settle for a hasty, disjointed effort with the inclusionary zoning ordinance in its current form. 

Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins is the councilwoman representing the Central Ward.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


TAPinto Nutley is Proud to be a Sponsor of the Meet the Mayors Breakfast April 7

March 23, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The 8th Annual #MeetTheMayors event brings small business leaders and local government officials together to dialogue about topics that impact the greater #Essex County community.

This FREE event takes place April 7 at the Westminster Hotel in Livingston from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

Registration is required ...

Nutley Relay for Life Breakfast / Brunch at Pancake Palace Saturday

Join us this Saturday 8 am to 2 pm for breakfast or lunch as we raise money for #NutleyRelay at The Pancake Palace on Franklin Avenue in #Nutley!

Upcoming Events


Sat, March 24, 9:00 AM

Nutley High School, Nutley

Academic Booster Club History Fair



Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Nutley Park ShopRite , Nutley

Scouting for Food Drive at Nutley Park ShopRite ...

Food & Drink Giving Back


Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Military Park, Newark

#NeverAgain March For Our Lives

Government Health & Wellness


Sat, March 24, 5:00 PM

St. James Episcopal Church , Upper Montclair

Montclair March For Our Lives

Education Health & Wellness


Sat, March 24, 6:00 PM

Nutley Elks Lodge , Nutley

Nutley Elks 8th Annual Wild Game Charity Dinner

Food & Drink Giving Back


Sat, March 24, 7:30 PM

Livingston High School, Livingston

Livingston Symphony Orchestra: "Water. water.

Arts & Entertainment

Nutley Public Schools Calendar Update March 23

March 23, 2018

Dear Nutley Parents,

Please be advised that at this point in the school year, the Nutley Public Schools have used six emergency closing days, two more than our allotted four.

Although we, along with many other New Jersey school districts, have asked Governor Murphy to waive the two days we closed due to the States of Emergency, we have not received exemption thus far.

As per the school ...

Delayed Opening for All Nutley Schools Thursday March 22, 2018

As we anticipated, the Nutley Public Schools will have a 90-minute delayed opening on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

Delayed opening times are as follows:

NHS  9:35 AM
Elementary, including Full Day Pre-School 10:00 AM

AM Pre-School and AM Extended Day are canceled.
A link to the delayed opening schedule can be found here.

Please be ...


Prism Capital Partners, ON3 to Host Suburban Revitalization Forum March 8 in Nutley

March 6, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - Prism Capital Partners and On3 will present the second part of a Suburban Revitalization Forum on March 8 in the auditorium of Building 200 on the ON3 campus. Each forum will begin at 6:30 p.m. 

Part two of the series, March 8,will discuss ways redevelopment can be tailored to take advantage of the demographic, socio-economic and lifestyle changes and ...

Speaker Added to March 8 Suburban Revitalization Forum - Chris Porter

NUTLEY, NJ - A Suburban Revitalization Forum will be presented by Prism Capital Partners and ON3 on March 5 and 8 at 6:30 p.m. on the ON3 campus, in the auditorium of Building 200 on Metro Boulevard, 340 Kingsland Street, Nutley.

The two-part series will feature nationally recognized speakers who will examine trends in urban planning and future growth as New ...

Melody Federico Takes the Helm at HOMECorp

March 23, 2018

Montclair, NJ – The HOMECorp Board of Trustees is excited to announce that they have hired Melody Federico of Wayne as their next Executive Director starting April 2, 2018.

Federico was most recently the Chief Real Estate Officer at NewBridge Services in Pequannock, where she led the social service agency’s real estate arm – developing and operating affordable housing for ...

United States Post Office Mailboxes Burglarized in West Essex Towns

FAIRFIELD, NJ — Local police departments are actively investigating burglaries and thefts involving United States Post Office mailboxes in Fairfield, Caldwell, West Caldwell, Livingston, Pine Brook and Orange.

According to the Fairfield Police Department, the Fairfield incident occurred sometime between March 15 at 5 p.m. and March 16 at 5 p.m. In this most recent incident, two mailboxes ...

Hillary Clinton coming to Rutgers, event moved to RAC to handle crowd

March 23, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK – Rutgers University’s Eagleton Institute of Politics will host former presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton on March 29.

Originally scheduled for the College Avenue Gym, the event, entitled “A Conversation with the Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton,” has been moved to the Rutgers Athletic Center “due to the extraordinary level of ...

Retro Fitness in Manahawkin Calls Stafford Police to Remove Man for Praying for Another Member

STAFFORD, NJ - Retro Fitness club member and Long Beach Township resident Craig Fasler was escorted by a member of the Stafford Township Police Department out of the gym because an employee accused him of sharing his faith in public. 

TAPinto Stafford-LBI was contacted by a Stafford Township resident about the incident that took place on Wednesday, March 21 around ...

Avon Loses Its Last ‘Grand’ Hotel to the Claw of an Excavator

March 18, 2018

AVON-BY-THE-SEA, NJ — In less than two days, an Avon-by-the-Sea landmark that stood for 130 years was reduced to a huge pile of rubble. The Norwood Inn no longer stands on the corner of Norwood and Second Avenues — the last of the stately hotels that once graced the streets of Avon.

As onlookers gathered around the demolition site on March 15 and March 16, an excavator clawed its ...

Nutley Police Blotter March 17 to March 23, 2018

March 23, 2018

The Police Blotter is compiled each week by Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari of the Crime Intelligence Public Information Division of the Nutley Police Department.

Please note:  All parties placed under arrest have been assigned a court date and remain innocent until proven guilty of those charges at their respective hearing

Anyone who has information about any crimes can send a (non ...

How Can Sports Therapy Loosen Up Winter Muscles?

Whether you are new to the gym or a seasoned athlete, the winter weather can affect your body. In these cold conditions, muscles are forced to work harder to complete tasks. This extra effort can result in muscle soreness and damage to tissue. While you may not be able to avoid the cold, preventive measure can help avoid discomfort and injury. Learning and implementing sports therapy techniques, ...

Pro Staff Institute announces partnership with Uber Health

NUTLEY, NJ - Pro Staff Institute is proud to announce their participation in Uber Health, a new transportation program designed to provide transportation to patients. Pro Staff Institute is the first physical therapy center in the nation to leverage Uber Health, and joins over other 100 health care organizations in the U.S., including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers and senior care ...

The Negative Effects Of Prolonged Sitting And Workplace Tips From Pro Staff Physical Therapy

In recent years, media outlets have described sitting as the new smoking. This may seem like a stretch, but once you break that statement down it carries some truth. Cigarettes were not thought to be the cause of lung cancer and other serious diseases until the 1950s. Like the cigarette industry in the 1920s, the effects of prolonged sitting throughout the workday has largely been ignored and ...

The Other Way NFSB Feeds Families

I remember how my teenage pride swelled the first time a friend confided in me for emotional support. Before long, my phone was clogged nightly as friends tapped my unearthed talent to lament breakups, or collapse under academic expectation. Because therapy was in the shadows then, and often thought of as a crutch for the “sick” or the “weak,” parents never sought ...

The Women Artists of Nutley Exhibit at the Nutley Public Library

 Enjoy an exhibit of new works by members of The Women Artists of Nutley in the gallery and display case of the Nutley Public Library during the months of March and April. Acrylic, gouache and watercolor paintings as well photography, pastels and drawings by these talented women will be featured.

Women’s History Month is celebrated in the United States in March every year. This art ...

Educational Leadership with Coach Tom Gargiulo

Learn some of the secrets of high-performing teachers and students with “Coach” Tom Gargiulo on Thursday, March 1st at 7:00 p.m. Motivate yourself and others with time-tested tips and strategies presented by Coach Tom in a lively and interactive manner. Mr. “G” is in his 28th year of teaching and coaching and teaches Physical Education at ...

Nutley's Great Flashlight Egg Hunt is Thursday March 29

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci is pleased to announce the “Great Flashlight Egg Hunt”!  The Department of Parks and Recreation invites Nutley youngsters in grades 2 through 6 to bring your flashlight along and get ready for some fun!  Over 1500 toy and candy filled eggs will be scattered throughout Reinheimer Park for the great flashlight egg hunt.   Reinheimer Park ...

Nutley United Soccer Club - Spring Season

The Nutley United Soccer Club is the travel division of the soccer program offered by the Nutley Parks & Recreation Department directed by Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci. Teams play in the very competitive Northern Counties Soccer Association against towns in Northern NJ and Lower NY State. The travel soccer program offers a high level of instruction by professional trainers and experienced ...

Registration for Spring Tennis Lessons Now Open

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci announces Spring Tennis Lesson registration is now open!  The Nutley Department of Parks and Recreation offers a top quality tennis program, directed under the supervision of Barry Rubach, an accredited member of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association and former Collegiate Champion.  Classes range in age groups starting in 1st grade and continuing through ...

The Jaffe Briefing - March 23, 2018


TRENTON - It's good to live in a state where the NRA is about as reviled as the act of putting peanut butter on a bagel. That's why we aren't worried about a NRA "alert" to members, urging them to contact Assembly members to vote "No" on a host of bills up Monday in Trenton. That includes sensible legislation that ...

Newark Residents and Businesses Sound Off on Amazon HQ2

March 23, 2018

As Amazon continues to search for the home of its second corporate headquarters, the City of Newark is pleased to be in the esteemed company of 20 worthy locations nationwide.

As we continue to look towards the potential of this new opportunity, the City is reaching out, on an individual basis, to see how its businesses and residents feel about the potential of welcoming Amazon to Newark.

Mis-management At Presby Threatens the Future of the Garden

Dear Editor,

It is with concern that I bring this subject to the attention to all who care and treasure the Presby Memorial Iris Garden, which along with the cherry trees of Branch Brook Park is one of the crown jewels of the Essex County Park System.  This historic garden founded 90 years ago by Frank Presby on  Upper Mt. Ave. is known internationally for its collection which ...

Ten Ways to Be Productive on a Snow Day

March 7, 2018

Another Nor’Easter has smacked us in the face today.  After so many of us lost power for what seemed to be an eternity, it’s a good time to make up for lost productivity and work on the famous Stephen Covey Quadrant 2 Activities.  What are they you may ask?  Those are the activities that are Important, yet not urgent (well some of them can be).  In other ...

Mountainside Medical Center Offers New 24/7 Senior Mental Health Helpline

March 21, 2018

Montclair, NJ -- Mountainside Medical Center has established a 24/7 Senior Intervention Helpline to address the behavioral health concerns of area residents age 65 and older.  Seniors in distress, along with authorized caregivers for the elderly who aren’t sure where to turn for help, are urged to call (973) 429-6073 whenever assistance from the hospital’s team of specially ...

Boy Scout of America’s Prepared For Life Dinner Features Captain Mark Kelly

The Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scout of America’s Fourth Annual Prepared for Life, Friends of Scouting Dinner will feature NASA space mission commander and American hero Captain Mark Kelly.

The event will be held on April 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Venetian in Garfield, 546 River Dr. The event starts with a reception hour at 6 p.m.

Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center Presents:Ron Guidry Book Signing, Apr. 3

Ron Guidry, known as "Gator" and "Louisiana Lightning" to his teammates, quickly rose in 1977 to become the ace of the Yankees' stellar pitching staff, helping the team regarded as one of the most famous and controversial in Yankees history to win two World Series championships. 

Join us on Tuesday, April 3 for a signing of Guidry's new ...

Queen Mary and the Cruiser

Queen Mary and the Cruiser by David A. Thomas and Patrick Holmes (Naval Institute Press, 1997)

“Had the forenoon watch and after eating went out onto the fo'c'sle. Just arrived at the top of the ladder by the PO's heads when the wave hit me---waist high---and knocked me over. Looking astern---through the bulkhead door which was open, saw the stern of a ship sticking up out of ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...


- Mar 14, 2018
Past Deputy Grand Marshall of St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Merchant Marine veteran James J.
Read more
Nov 23, 1963 - Mar 12, 2018
Jeffrey Roy Imhoff passed away on March 12, 2018. He was a lifelong resident of Nutley, graduating ...
Read more