More Than $1.2 Million Awarded to Develop and Implement Outreach Strategies and Resources Across the State

TRENTON, NJ – The Murphy Administration today announced the award of $1,250,000 to the nonprofit agency Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) to develop and implement outreach strategies to raise awareness of tenant rights, the eviction process, and eviction prevention resources across the state referred to as the Anti-Eviction Pilot. The Network will also provide training and technical assistance to the 48 housing counseling agencies across the state to enable them to serve renters and work with small and non-profit landlords and tenants to develop and implement a mediation process to prevent eviction. The awards were provided through the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF). The Fund, which was restored as part of Governor Murphy’s FY2020 budget, is administered by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and allows for the development of different types of affordable housing projects to support stronger, fairer, and more affordable communities.

“I am excited to see the new initiatives brought forth by the Network become a reality. Through their extensive outreach, they will help strengthen and support New Jersey’s communities,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “The eviction services and resources they will provide through this award are also going to help alleviate some of the COVID-19 burdens that have been placed on our residents and communities as we financially recover from this pandemic.”

In addition to this award to the Network, the Murphy Administration announced the award of more than $19 million to housing organizations throughout the state through the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF).

The other AHTF awards were given statewide to smaller rental and homeownership housing projects sized at 25 or fewer units, which often have difficulty obtaining financing. These projects will fill the gaps within the existing affordable housing ecosystem, build on current assets and investments, and add value to neighborhoods by addressing housing needs in an equitable way.

Project funding was based on several core principles, including advancing equity in addressing housing needs, encouraging leverage of other public and private resources, and allowing a flexible structure for funds to be used to complete projects. DCA also held multiple listening sessions to hear from stakeholders about the best way the funding could be most equitably spent.

Selected projects demonstrated strong municipal support; participation in other state-funded community development initiatives; partnerships with private sector investors; sustainability/resilience; walkability; mixed-use; accessibility; and thoughtfulness in addressing gentrification.

The AHTF is allocated through three funds, all focused on creating housing for households earning less than 80 percent of Area Median Income (AMI), with preferences for providing units with deeper affordability. This project was funded by the Innovation Fund, which dedicates funds for innovative projects that may not fit under the umbrella of the other two funds but that creatively advance the State’s housing goals. These projects could include, for example, makerhoods; tiny homes; housing innovations aimed at the Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed (ALICE) population; healthy homes; and new technologies. A portion of this fund may be used for grants to help municipalities create long-term affordable housing plans. Additionally, the fund may be used for capacity building, such as to create a technical guidance “library” offering case studies and how-to information for municipalities on the development of new models of housing, changes in redevelopment practices, and reducing regulatory barriers that increase construction cost. The maximum subsidy for a given project financed through the Innovation Fund is $2 million.

The DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery and mitigation.

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