FAIR SHARE HOUSING CENTER
New Jersey has a long-standing housing crisis. It is among both the most expensive and racially segregated states in America.
A provision in the state constitution, known as the Mount Laurel Doctrine, is designed to combat those problems. It requires towns to plan for affordable housing for seniors, working families, people of color and people with disabilities. This law, however, has too often been compromised or ignored.
The Fair Share Housing Center, based in Cherry Hill, aims to enforce the Mount Laurel Doctrine by holding all New Jersey municipalities accountable. Often that involves filing litigation – seeking rulings requiring towns to submit affordable housing plans to the New Jersey courts for review.
The Fair Share Housing Center first partnered with Ceisler Media and Issue Advocacy in 2014, asking us to handle their media outreach. Our job is to tell the story of why fair and affordable housing benefits everyone. We laud those communities that do well, and shine a spotlight on those aiming to exclude people.
Ceisler Media has worked with Fair Share to help build and manage coalitions of advocates and grassroots organizers – including political leaders, clergy people, non-profit organizations and advocacy groups.
We offer media training to assist members of those groups craft their message. And we use our expertise in media relations and writing to help them spread the word through speeches, letters to the editor, op-eds and other published articles.
The goal is to make policymakers listen by taking fair housing issues out of the abstract realm of hearings and documents and giving it a human face.
Ceisler Media also helps the Center craft its political strategy by identifying the key players locally and in Trenton, and making sure that they are hearing from the right people. We make sure the important questions are asked – and answered.
More than 180 New Jersey municipalities now have viable affordable housing plans in place – many because of the hard work of the Fair Share Housing Center. This ensures that tens of thousands of homes are being built for all citizens close to good schools and good jobs.
But there remains progress to be made. Ceisler Media looks forward to working with the Fair Share Housing Center to continue toward its goal of fair and affordable housing for every New Jersey resident.