University Professor Norm Glickman and Assistant Professor Kathe Newman led a graduate planning studio for 15 master's students over the past school year that focused on how the nation's mortgage foreclosure crisis is affecting communities in Essex County. Their work with the Essex-Newark Foreclosure Task Force attracted repeated front page coverage in the state’s largest newspaper, The Star-Ledger, and outreach to leading policymakers for public policy remedies.
Norman Glickman (second from right) and class
The studios combined data research into public records with community visits to see firsthand how residential foreclosures were affecting specific neighborhoods. “The only way to get a clear picture of what is actually happening is to go look yourself,” said Newman.
Newman has since been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Fund for New Jersey to work with the task force in digitizing foreclosure filings from Essex County for the period 2005-2008, and to gather supplementary data.
As a result of their research, the master's students found that 1,400 of Newark’s 21,295 owner-occupied dwellings were in foreclosure, with another 1,000 expected to be added to the rolls. The students delivered a presentation and final report and are creating a Web site.
"I've been doing this kind of stuff for 35 years and I've never seen a group like this come together," Glickman told The Star-Ledger, referring to the task force. "It's really quite extraordinary, but it also tells you how severe the problem is."
Last summer, Newman took part in a new Rutgers program for incoming freshman, teaching a first-year seminar to familiarize a select group of students with the university's research agenda. Newman led the students on a tour of Harlem and, joined by Glickman, a tour of Coney Island where Newman discussed her research into gentrification in New York City.