FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, November 15, 2013

CHRISTIE ADMINISTRATION AWARDS NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION TAX CREDIT PLANNING GRANT TO THE HEART OF CAMDEN

$391,270 Award Will Assist Nonprofit with Predevelopment Costs Associated With the Renovation of Mixed-Use Project in Camden



TRENTON – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today announced a $391,270 Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) grant award to the Heart of Camden for Phase I of renovations to an existing, vacant three-story building to develop Writer’s House, a café, educational facility and creative space. Since the creation of the NRTC program, 24 corporations have contributed $58,081,000 to fund 24 neighborhood revitalization plans in 13 urban municipalities throughout the state.

“The Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program continues to have positive impacts in New Jersey’s urban neighborhoods and has allowed the state to work with local organizations to foster revitalization in communities like Camden,” said Commissioner Constable. “Through this program, the Christie Administration will continue to support nonprofits creating affordable housing and economic development opportunities that contribute to the overall revitalization of neighborhoods.”

The Writer’s House project is a key step in completing the revitalization of the Broadway Corridor, an essential part of the Heart of Camden’s Waterfront South Revitalization Plan. Located at the main intersection of this neighborhood, this is the only property that remains vacant in the immediate area. The NRTC grant award will allow this nonprofit to carry out predevelopment activities including architectural drawings, obtaining permits and rehabilitating the building’s exterior including the roof, windows, doors and masonry work.

In addition to their own creative programs, the Writer’s House will house the headquarters of a national poetry program, provide after-school writing programs for neighborhood children and offer evening and weekend courses for adults. A new coffee shop will generate foot traffic and provide a source of income for the organization.

Other communities that have benefited from the NRTC program this year include the City of Elizabeth’s Elizabethport section, Orange’s Valley neighborhood and Paterson’s Greater Spruce Street neighborhood. The NRTC program is administered by the Division of Housing and Community Resources and provides community based nonprofit groups with corporate funding for implementing neighborhood revitalization plans.  The nonprofit organizations agree to allot at least 60 percent of the funds to housing and/or economic development activities.  The remainder may be used for complementary activities such as supportive services, improvements to streetscape and public open space, and community outreach activities. 

Funds for this project were contributed by Campbell Soup Co. and PNC Bank.  The Heart of Camden has had an approved neighborhood plan since 2008 for the Waterfront South neighborhood.

Companies that fund the program receive a 100 percent tax credit against various state taxes for their investments in revitalizing low-and moderate-income neighborhoods in eligible cities.

More information on the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program, visit www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/nrtc.html and for more information on Heart of Camden, visit www.heartofcamden.org.