Affordable Housing in a Just World: Basics and Beyond


Sun, Jan 9, 2022    
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Event Type

Contact: Michele Alperin

Telephone: 609-240-9131

Email: [email protected]


Affordable Housing in a Just World: Basics and Beyond

Alice Small of Princeton Community Housing one of three panelists


PRINCETON, N.J. – December 10, 2021 – For Alice Small, board president of the private nonprofit developer of affordable housing Princeton Community Housing Development Corp., using her governance skills to help expand affordable housing in New Jersey is a perfect fit. “Housing is a basic unit of how people live their lives—their health, educational, and economic outcomes,” she says. But in high-cost New Jersey, she adds, “people working two minimum wage jobs can’t afford to rent an apartment.”


Small, a resident of Princeton for nearly 50 years, will be one of three speakers in the second program in a Zoom series on how to make affordable housing a reality in our towns. Planned by members of three synagogues, Congregation Beth Chaim in Princeton Junction, Har Sinai Temple in Pennington, and The Jewish Center in Princeton, the program on Sunday, January 9, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., will address the development of affordable housing from three perspectives: Diane Ciccone, attorney and former West Windsor councilperson, will share the challenge of complying with affordable housing requirements in a suburban town; Mitchell Newman, senior vice president at Lennar and planning board chair of the Millstone Township Planning Board, will look at corporate development of affordable housing, and Small will offer the view of a nonprofit that develops and manages affordable housing communities.


The webinar’s moderator will be Peter Buchsbaum, a former New Jersey Superior Court judge, of counsel to Lanza and Lanza in Flemington, and court master in six Mount Laurel cases where he “advises the court on the appropriateness of a proposed affordable plan, … advises towns, and helps settle cases.”


To register or for more information, email [email protected].


Princeton Community Housing (PCH), Small says, “is the largest developer, manager, and operator of affordable homes in Princeton, with 466 units and about 1,000 people.” The organization also administers affordable housing programs for Princeton and Hopewell.


Upon her first exposure to PCH developments like Princeton Community Village and Elm Court, Small was amazed. “When I got there I discovered how well run and how fabulous our facilities were,” she recalls. “Elm Court—you don’t know when you are looking that it is affordable housing because it is so well maintained and inviting, with a beautiful new lobby.” Distinguishing PCH from regular landlords, Small explains that their housing developments also provide a social safety net, with social workers to connect residents with social services and food delivery.


For the upcoming program, Small plans to look at one model of affordable housing, the 25 new units PCH is building at Princeton Community Village. She will talk about the advantages of these units, what affordable actually means, and “why we want a culturally and economically diverse community to live in.” These units fulfill part of Princeton’s 2019 court-mandated affordable Third Round Obligation, 753 units (New Construction) from 1999 to 2025.


Small came to her volunteer position as board president with well-honed skills from both her professional and volunteer activities. Small worked for many years in the publishing world, handling subsidiary rights and contracts. While director of contracts and grants for Educational Testing Service, she attended Rutgers University Law School at night. She was in private practice with both Jamieson, Moore, Peskin & Spicer and Lowenstein. She became deputy attorney general of New Jersey in 2000 and director of the Division of Purchase & Property and has served as a board member of the Jewish Family & Children’s Services of Mercer County, board secretary of the YWCA of Princeton, and as a member of both the Princeton Consolidation Committee and the Transition Task Force.


Mitchell Newman, an attorney, focuses on real estate, land use, and related topics. He currently works for one of the largest home builders in the nation, Lennar Corporation, where he is responsible for land acquisition and entitlements as well as operating joint ventures; this includes identifying land opportunities with regard to affordable housing. Previously Newman worked in a variety of roles for other national home builders, DR Horton and K Hovnanian. As a volunteer he has served as planning board chair of the Millstone Township Planning Board for 20 years, which also gives him an intimate view of the municipal process to accommodate affordable housing.


Diane Ciccone, an administrative law judge and West Windsor resident for over 20 years, began her public service on the West Windsor Planning Board. Her interest in land use management and sustainability ultimately led her to become a member of the West Windsor Council and later its president. During her service to the town, the Redevelopment Plan (near the train station) was being developed. The developers brought a lawsuit that ultimately settled after pressure from the Council resulted in an increased number of affordable housing units in the plan. Ciccone also produced the film “An Act of Faith” about West Windsor’s Glen Acres neighborhood, one of the first planned integrated housing developments in New Jersey and the nation.


Small is worried about rising inequality in the United States and its consequences. “We have to be concerned, take notice, and do something about it.”

Photos by Michele Alperin


Alice Small, board president of Princeton Community Housing Development Corp., on the shared property of Elm Court, built in 1986 with 88 affordable housing units, and Harriet Bryan, built in 2007 with 67 units.