To the Editor:
When Jim Floyd passed away on May 14, Princeton lost a unique link to our communal past and a valuable voice for our future. On behalf of Princeton Community Housing, I am writing to express our condolences to Jim’s family and friends and to let others know how much Jim meant to our organization and to Princeton.
Jim’s formative years were the late 1940s and 1950s, a time of unprecedented opportunity for many in the United States, but also a time of overt and covert segregation for African American citizens. Jim never forgot the indignities and unfairness of these times, and throughout his long years of dedicated public service, he never wavered in his determination to assure an open and welcoming environment for all Princeton citizens.
Jim eagerly joined the small group of church members and other organizations who formed Princeton Community Housing in 1967 and who went on to open Princeton Community Village in 1975. From the beginning, a resident’s eligibility ws based only on income criteria, and the result was a diverse community of all ages and races. Jim and his wife, Fannie, were instrumental in helping Princeton Community Housing obtain land along Route 206 at the border of Montgomery Township and the former Princeton Township in order to initiate the development of an inclusive community of 280 town houses, condominiums, and rentals, split evenly between market-rate and affordable units. Princeton Township became a partner in this endeavor, which today is called Griggs Farm and includes 70 rental homes owned and managed by Princeton Community Housing.
Long past the age when most of us retreat to full-time leisure, Jim continued as an active Princeton Community Housing trustee. He was the driving force behind our public meetings and outreach, encouraging us to maintain public awareness and support for providing affordable homes in our increasingly expensive town. He championed those who struggled to make ends meet, and advocated for Princeton Community Housing to offer credit counseling sessions to help affordable housing applicants achieve eligibility. will be greatly missed at Princeton Community Housing and in the community he cared for so greatly, but his legacy of service, thoughtfulness, leadership and accomplishment will remain forever.
Executive Director, Princeton Community Housing
On behalf of the trustees and staff of the Princeton Community Housing entities