Fair Share Housing Development (FSHD) is a 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit corporation with offices in Mount Laurel and Camden, New Jersey. The organization was founded by Peter J. O’Connor in 1986 to develop, own and manage affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families, seniors and the disabled in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties.
FSHD and its predecessor organizations, the nonprofit housing programs of the Carpenters Union of South Jersey, have three decades of experience in developing and managing affordable rental housing. FSHD currently manages 656 rental units in five affordable housing complexes in southern New Jersey with over 2,000 tenants.
In 2000-2004, FSHD developed Ethel R. Lawrence Homes, Phases I & II (140 units), Mount Laurel Township, Burlington County. Evans-Francis Estates at Short Hills Farm, Cherry Hill Township, Camden County (54 units) was planned for development in 2010, but is currently in litigation with the Township’s Planning Board regarding development approvals. In addition, Fair Share Housing Development is slated to develop another five affordable housing developments in suburban New Jersey in the next several years, including a 24-unit single-family development for families in Mount Laurel; a 36-unit addition to Ethel Lawrence Homes; a 184-unit senior/assisted-living development, also in Mount Laurel; a 76-unit development for the elderly in Cherry Hill at the site of the former Garden State Racetrack; and a 100-unit family rental development in Woolwich Township.
Fair Share’s Partners
FSHD’s work receives crucial support from and lends support to several other organizations. FSHD’s most longstanding partner, the Fair Share Housing Center, was founded in 1975 and continues to support the work of FSHD by providing legal and technical expertise and, when needed, the ability to litigate to circumvent the many obstacles and overcome the resistance that affordable housing has elicited in suburban communities.
FSHD also plays an important role in the City of Camden and in the region surrounding Camden. Inside Camden, FSHD serves the role of a traditional community development corporation, and its employees there participate in civic activities with other organizations. FSHD Executive Director Peter O’Connor himself has long been involved with other organizations in Camden and he served in a volunteer capacity for more than a decade as the Chairman of the Holy Name of Camden, a neighborhood based organization that includes a church, school, law office, medical clinic and family counseling program. He is also the Chairman of the Catholic Camden Diocese’s Housing Development Corporation, which develops primarily senior affordable housing in the six most southern counties of New Jersey.
FSHD has a very visible presence in the region and is a strong voice in support of affordable housing development outside of areas of entrenched poverty. Several other for-profit and nonprofit entities are involved in developing affordable housing in suburban South Jersey, but no other entity has FSHD’s record or commitment to the development of affordable housing that promotes regional mobility for residents of the City of Camden and strives to reach very low-income households.