Newark to benefit from organization’s focus on neighborhood revitalization
NEWARK, NJ, Dec. 1, 2011 – Mayor Cory A. Booker, Members of the Newark Municipal Council, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Adam Zipkin, Director of Housing and Real Estate Michael Meyer, Chase Community Relations Manager in New Jersey Elliott Lee, New Jersey Community Capital President Wayne Meyer, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Newark Office Director Annemarie Uebbing, and other dignitaries announced today that Chase has awarded a $4 million grant to New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) to help preserve affordable housing and expand the organization’s work in revitalizing New Jersey’s most distressed neighborhoods, with a major focus on Newark. The announcement was made at a property in the City’s West Ward Fairmount Heights neighborhood, which has benefitted from the partnership between Chase and NJCC. Also in attendance were Council Members-at-Large Mildred C. Crump and Carlos M. Gonzalez.
“In neighborhoods across this great City, the partnerships between the City, civic-minded lenders, such as Chase and NJCC, and nonprofit and small, local developers, are creating hope and opportunity where before there was foreclosure and abandonment. As I speak, over 250 homes in Newark’s neighborhoods are being renovated or newly constructed, with an investment of over $14 million of public funds, leveraging a total of over $41 million of neighborhood reinvestment, creating not just new affordable housing, but employment opportunities for Newark residents and business opportunities for local developers. In Fairmount Heights alone, a dozen small developers and contractors will repair over 50 homes, with a total development cost of $5.5 million. This grant from Chase will allow NJCC, the City and our development partners to continue with this important work,” said Mayor Booker.
“Funds such as these, along with the critical resources provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), allow local community developers to make a real difference in distressed neighborhoods. We are working hard to keep our neighborhoods strong for the residents who have invested and care for their homes, their blocks and their neighborhoods,” said Mike Meyer, Director of Housing and Real Estate for the City.
In addition to the $4 million grant, Chase has invested more than $3.1 million in NJCC during the last seven years to enhance the organization’s continued leadership in the revitalization of New Jersey’s distressed neighborhoods.
“Access to credit is critical for nonprofit organizations that are working to restore and preserve affordable housing options,” said Mr. Lee. “Chase is proud to continue to support NJCC’s lending efforts aimed at addressing affordable housing preservation to sustain homeownership.”
Newark was selected as the site of the announcement due to the innovative and holistic approach the City and its community partners have taken since the onset of the mortgage and foreclosure crisis. The site of the announcement is a home that was one of 47 vacant properties in Essex County – including 21 in Newark – which NJCC purchased at a discount from Chase in 2009. Newark resident Walter Jones was originally renting a unit on the top floor of the house with his family when Chase conveyed the property to NJCC. NJCC worked with the Jones family and HANDS, Inc., a local nonprofit community builder, to keep the family in the home while it renovated the property floor by floor. The City of Newark provided financial support to NJCC and HANDS to complete repairs to the building. By the time the renovation was complete, the Joneses were able to purchase the home, preserving two units of affordable housing.
“Moving from renters to owners is something we didn’t expect,” said Mr. Jones. “We have lived here for years, so we’re very happy that we were able to stay in place. All thanks to NJCC, HANDS and Newark.”
The $4 million investment will allow NJCC to continue to support a number of similar programs and initiatives aimed at stabilizing New Jersey’s most at-risk communities, including:
• Establishing the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, a permanent revolving loan fund that will provide accessible and flexible capital to support efficient revitalization of foreclosed properties.
• Establishing a joint venture with Enterprise Community Partners, Mercy Housing, Inc., Housing Partnership Network and the National Community Stabilization Trust, in order to purchase pools of delinquent mortgages in high-impact areas and create an individualized action plan for each homeowner so they can stay in their home.
• Investing in local-level collaborations with community development organizations across the state, including Newark’s Strong Healthy Communities Initiative, the Essex County Community Land Trust, the New Jersey Community Progress Institute and the Ralph W. Voorhees Center for Civic Engagement.
“The development of much needed quality affordable housing is critically important to the well-being and health of individuals, families and communities,” said NJCC President Meyer. “The opportunity to build a better life is a powerful economic lever that makes our communities diverse and vibrant places to live, work, and prosper. That is why we are so grateful to Chase for this generous $4 million grant investment. With these funds we will be able to greatly leverage additional resources and enhance our ability to advance affordable housing solutions of the magnitude and scale necessary to assist in the transformation of neighborhoods and communities.”
“Project Rebuild, which is part of the President’s American Jobs Act, will put Americans back to work immediately by creating 200,000 jobs and continuing to successfully change neighborhoods one block at a time by revitalizing properties that were once abandoned,” commented HUD Regional Administrator Adolfo Carrión, in a statement. “Neighborhood Stabilization efforts in other parts of the country have succeeded in increasing property values. We thank NJCC and JPMorgan Chase for their commitment to help revitalize our communities.”
For more information about any City of Newark program or policy, contact the Non-Emergency Call Center at (973) 733-4311.
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Press Information Office – (973) 733-8004
Chase: Mike Fusco – (212) 270-5089
New Jersey Community Capital: Peter Grof – (609) 989-7766, ext. 406
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.3 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. In New Jersey, Chase serves consumers and small businesses through 226 bank branches and more than 400 ATMs. The firm has more than 6,000 employees working across the state.
About New Jersey Community Capital
NJCC is a 501(c) (3) mission-driven lender based in Trenton that transforms at-risk communities through strategic investments of capital and knowledge. NJCC invests in affordable housing, community facilities, and economic development ventures that strengthen neighborhoods, improve education, and increase jobs, ultimately providing greater opportunities for the low-income residents in these communities. For more information on NJCC, visit www.newjerseycommunitycapital.org
About the City of Newark, New Jersey
Newark, commonly referred to as Brick City, is the third oldest city in the United States and the largest in New Jersey, with a population of more than 280,000 people. Newark sits on one of the nation’s largest transportation super-structures including an international airport, major commuter and freight rail lines, major highway intersections and the busiest seaport on the east coast.
With a new Administration as of July 2006, Newark continues to see signs of a strong revival. Its population showed growth in the most recent census. Its six major colleges and universities are further expanding their presence. The rate of production of affordable housing has doubled, and new businesses are moving in. There is still much work to be done but Newark is on its way to achieving its mission: to set a national standard for urban transformation.
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For more information on the City of Newark, please visit our website at www.ci.newark.nj.us
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