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Housing Development, Supportive Housing, Neighborhood Revitalization, and Economic Development Recognized at 2019 Conference
ATLANTIC CITY – Three affordable housing projects that address the needs of underserved populations and a redeveloped, long-dormant landfill transformed into a hub of innovation received the 2019 Governor’s Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Awards today during the annual Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development.
“The availability of affordable, secure housing for all New Jersey residents, regardless of their income, is the foundation of a stronger and fairer New Jersey economy. A thriving economy also hinges on innovative businesses collaborating with communities to advance projects that benefit residents through the job opportunities and neighborhood enhancements they provide,” said Acting Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA). “Governor Murphy and I applaud this year’s award winners for their skill and perseverance in completing these formidable projects that are supporting the state’s economy and improving people’s lives.”
The annual conference, now in its 23rd year, is hosted by DCA, the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), and the New Jersey Redevelopment Authority (NJRA). This year’s conference featured a keynote address by Reverend Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset and former Secretary of State of New Jersey (1999 – 2002), and an opening Plenary Session led by Margaret Chinwe Anadu, Managing Director and Head of the Urban Investment Group, Goldman Sachs.
“From supportive and affordable housing opportunities to economic and neighborhood revitalization, these award-winning developments exemplify innovative efforts and partnerships to build a stronger New Jersey,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman. “These developments have provided homes for families and residents with special needs, improved neighborhoods and invigorated local economies, and I congratulate all of the winning project partners.”
The Leading Neighborhood Revitalization Partnership Award was presented to the Dr. Lena Frances Edwards Apartments in Jersey City, Hudson County. The development is the culmination of the redevelopment of a blighted and contaminated site into 64 units of affordable housing with five set aside for homeless veterans. The building is named in honor of Dr. Lena Francis Edwards, a prominent African-American female physician who spent many years serving low-income residents of Jersey City and in 1964 was recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The award recognizes achievement in the development of a neighborhood revitalization project that not only transforms an individual site, but also has a catalyzing impact on the surrounding community.
The award-winning development team included: Jersey City Redevelopment Agency; Genesis Companies; Bank of America; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2; and Kitchen & Associates.
The Leading Innovative Economic Development Award was presented to the Harrison Avenue Landfill Redevelopment Project in Kearny, Hudson County. Hartz Mountain Industries, the owner/developer, took on acquisition, remediation, and redevelopment of the 26-acre, long-dormant project to develop the Cummins Power Systems Training and Maintenance Facility and Preferred Freezer Services Freezer Warehouse. The award recognizes a transformative redevelopment project that promotes economic growth and job creation in the innovation economy.
Award winners included: PS&S Integrated Services; Hartz Mountain Industries, LLC; Preferred Freezer Services; Cummins, Inc.; and the Town of Kearny.
The Leading Housing Development Award was presented to Hudson Ridge Residences at Aberdeen, Monmouth County, which transformed a contaminated Superfund site that had been vacant for 20 years into 145 units of affordable housing, including family and senior apartments, with 20 set aside for individuals with special needs, including 10 apartments for veterans, and a standalone community center. The award recognizes achievement in an affordable housing revitalization project. Projects must demonstrate the revitalization or redevelopment of distressed or blighted neighborhoods while including an affordable or workforce housing component.
The development team that received the award included: RPM Development Group; the Township of Aberdeen; Inglese Architecture + Engineering; and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
The Leading Supportive Housing Development Award was presented to Camp Salute in Clayton, Gloucester County. The project provides 76 units of affordable housing, with 19 set aside for homeless and/or disabled veterans, with a veteran preference for the remaining apartments. Camp Salute offers a robust array of support services for veterans and non-veteran residents, including health care, medical insurance, legal services, job training, counseling, and education. The award recognizes achievement in the creation of a supportive housing project designed to serve special needs populations such as homeless individuals; survivors of domestic violence; people with mental, physical and developmental disabilities; people with HIV/AIDS; and youth aging out of foster care.
The award recipients include: Conifer Realty, LLC; People for People Foundation of Gloucester County, Inc.; Housing Authority of Gloucester County; The Home Depot Foundation of New Jersey Metro Region; and the Borough of Clayton.
“This year’s award winners represent Governor Murphy’s theme of a fairer and more equitable New Jersey. All of the selected projects will improve the quality of life for the residents, and help neighborhoods become safer, more economically viable and affordable places to live and work,” said NJRA President and CEO Leslie Anderson.
“Governor Murphy’s vision for New Jersey’s economy is to build communities that provide security and a sense of well-being for all residents,” said NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan. “The projects honored today represent some of the best of what we can achieve when the public and private sectors work together to transform dormant or damaged properties into vibrant community assets.”
For more information on the Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Awards and the 2019 Governor’s Conference on Housing and Economic Development, visit www.njhousingconference.com.