Fair Share Housing Center

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Meet FSHC’s Summer 2022 Interns

Posted by Laura Denker on July 21st 2022

This summer we are fortunate to have four talented interns joining us. We asked them each the following questions to see what they are learning this summer!

Iain Pollard
Hometown: Chester, NH
School: Rutgers Law

Zahir Goyins
Hometown: Voorhees, NJ
School: East Stroudsburg University

Chris Romero
Hometown: Pheonix, AZ
School: Rutgers Law

Allison Woitte
Hometown: Oklahoma
School: Rutgers Law

What do you find most inspiring about Fair Share’s work?

Iain: I am most inspired by how actively you can see the results of Fair Share’s work across the state of New Jersey. Its really inspiring to be able to see the physical buildings Fair Share has helped to get constructed in almost every town I drive through in my day to day life.

Zahir: The most inspiring thing I can say about having the opportunity to be a part of Fair Shares is being able to understand how much goes behind the scenes and observing how much work goes into helping people with getting a basic foundation within the housing industry. What’s also inspiring to me, is having the opportunity to learn from those that have been in this field for many years. It is exciting to hear how things go and how they get done.

Chris: What I find most inspiring about Fair Share’s work is that there’s an organization of people willing to fight every town in the state to make sure people have a chance at safe, affordable housing. I’ve seen how life changing that can be for someone firsthand. Knowing FSHC does this for people all across the state is very inspiring to me and makes me proud to be an intern here.

Allison: FSHC’s dedication to standing up for low income families is their most inspiring quality. Not only does this goal require a ton of work and time, so many New Jersey citizens who are lucky enough to never experience poverty look down on FSHC. Whatever the situation or attitude of those against them, the FSHC employees are resilient in fighting for every person’s right to affordable and safe housing.

What were you surprised to learn about affordable housing when you started interning with us?

Iain: I was surprised by just how many moving parts need to work in tandem for affordable housing to be built, even with all of the established Mt. Laurel doctrine in place. Between planning, litigation, development, policy, and community engagement, the amount of different areas Fair Share is involved with in order to get affordable housing developed as such an arguably small organization continues to surprise me.

Zahir: Again, I was surprised by how much goes on behind the scenes. Of course I always knew that there is a complexity within affordable housing. I just never thought about the different dynamics that are in play such as having to understand that there are groups of people that don’t want to see everyone have decent housing. Fairs Share to me is able to counter those that oppose the idea of everyone having equal opportunities to be a homeowner and offers the many supports to do so.

Chris: Coming from Arizona, just the idea that towns actually had to build affordable housing and couldn’t keep lower income citizens out was surprising to me. Having whole communities with only affordable housing units was also a pleasant surprise and gives me hope that it can be replicated elsewhere.

Allison: I was extremely surprised by how long the waitlists are for affordable housing AND how resistant municipalities are to building/assigning more.