Researching Public Law and Public Policy in the Public Interest
Two years ago, CLiME and the Violence Institute partnered on twin aspects of the crisis of disproportionate exposure to childhood trauma among students living in concentrated poverty. CLiME’s law and policy analyses of causal structural factors are contained on our site and blog. For the first time, we publish here the empirical findings of Dr. Alicia Lukachko, our partner, who worked with a group of young people aged 8-18 referred to a partial hospitalization program from their schools in Newark, Irvington and East Orange.
David Troutt, founding director of the Rutgers Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity (CLiME) was featured in on NJ.com this week: A recent report by Rutgers University found the risk of displacement for Newarkers is already high, even though threat of gentrification remains premature. "Displacement through gentrification comes about because cities make deliberate tax policy decisions that favor certain elements over others," said David Troutt, one of the authors of the report and director of Rutger's Center for Law, Inequality and Metropolitan Equity. "A city like Newark has to exercise that same authority to protect (residents)," he added. "This is an obligation to make sure as it plans for growth, it also plans for affordability. Otherwise people disappear."
Making Newark Work for Newarkers is the full report of the Rutgers University-Newark Project on Equitable Growth in the City of Newark, written by CLiME and incorporating research conducted in conjunction with a university working group whose work began last April. We viewed the goal of equitable growth first in the context of housing issues before expanding to think about the fabric of community life and economic opportunity in the city. This Executive Summary includes the main findings from each chapter as well as the highlights from a comprehensive set of recommendations we submitted to Mayor Ras Baraka on October 27, 2017. The key fact that animates any study of equity and opportunity in a city undergoing downtown redevelopment is this: Newarkers face a longstanding crisis of housing affordability.

Cities may sue banks for injuries to their tax base caused by unlawful conduct against homeowners, according to the Supreme Court in a May 1st decision that was closely watched by fair housing advocates.  An unusual split among the justices produced the 5-4 opinion in Bank of America v. City of Miami.  The federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) ruling demonstrates that the aggregation of direct harms can produce broader consequences that may be actionable by indirect victims.

CLiME Director David Troutt comments on the the New Jersey Supreme Court's latest Mt. Laurel decision: "Even amid dramatic national change, a lot about life is still local."
The presidential election that was too vulgar for us to write about, with accusations too inarticulate to describe policies, and an intimidating atmosphere of racist, nativist and sexist extremism inflaming every imaginable social division, finally received the emotional outcome it created. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton in a historic upset destined to be known as the ultimate political demand for change. For those dedicated to working against structural inequality, this may be the transformative change we never imagined.
This past September, CLiME began this series on housing issues in Newark by reporting on a demonstration at City Hall, part of the National Tenants Day of Action. I met many organizers and tenants from the Terrell Homes, who have been fighting to preserve the residences of over 200 families in this public housing development located in Newark’s Ironbound neighborhood. Terrell first made headlines in 2014 as the tenants fought against talks of demolition. Now the Newark Housing Authority has reinvigorated these talks—and fights—with their 2017 Agency Plan which includes a simple one-line proposal: "The NHA intends to apply for Demolition of Terrell Homes in conjunction with a potential riverside development by the City of Newark.”
Who is responsible for today's campus troubles? Jonathan Ernst/Reuters
Intergenerational privilege is rooted in place -- in the home values and tax base, the schools and transportation networks available to people because of where they are fortunate to live. Decades of white flight, suburbanization, the abandonment of urban centers and regressive housing policies have contributed to a pervasive disconnectionacross racial, ethnic and class lines. This segregation has reinforced the corrosive effects of historical prejudice and biases that already divide society and make Americans, in effect, strangers to each other. It should come as no surprise, then, that the social landscapes of university communities are just as divided.

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