FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 13, 2015

Christie Administration Awards Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Grants in Essex County

Grants Totaling $1,970,000 Enable Two Nonprofits to Perform Activities to Benefit Neighborhood Residents



 ESSEX COUNTY, NJ – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable, III today announced $1,970,000 in grant awards through the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program to HANDS, Inc. located in Orange, and Ironbound Community Corporation located in Newark. Since the creation of the NRTC program, 31 corporations have contributed $78,081,000 to fund 29 neighborhood revitalization plans in 15 urban municipalities throughout the state 

"The Christie Administration continues to support the NRTC program which encourages new housing options and economic development opportunities for small businesses in New Jersey’s urban neighborhoods," said Commissioner Constable. "This program continues to have positive impacts in New Jersey and has allowed the state to work with local organizations to foster revitalization in communities throughout Essex County. We will continue to invest in innovative programs such as this that will support New Jersey’s working families, seniors, and children."

HANDS, Inc. was awarded $985,000 for activities associated with its Valley Neighborhood Anchors project. NRTC funds will enable HANDS to acquire and upgrade the iconic chrome State Diner at 567 Valley Road in West Orange. The grant will also allow the Neighborhood Anchors Fund to invest in the refinancing of four operating arts-related properties, which will better assure their financial stability and sustainability of arts uses in the Valley neighborhood. 

Additionally, a portion of these funds will be used to support collaborative community organizations that provide arts-related programming to involve community members, artists, youth and visitors in the Valley Arts District.

In Newark, Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC) will use the $985,000 NRTC grant to rehabilitate ten abandoned housing units on the blocks surrounding Hawkins Street School as affordable housing. Additionally, funds will also be used to include greening, traffic calming, signage, and bus stop improvements as part of the East Ferry Streetscape Improvements.

Other communities that have benefited from the NRTC program this year include Salem City, Paterson, Asbury Park, Perth Amboy, Camden, Trenton, Elizabeth and New Brunswick.

Funds for "Valley Neighborhood Anchors" were contributed by JPMorgan Chase, Public Service Enterprise Group, TD Bank and an anonymous company.  HANDS Inc. has had an approved NRTC plan since 2004, for the Valley neighborhood of Orange.

The "Hawkins Stabilization & East Ferry Revitalization" projects were funded by Horizon Healthcare, JPMorgan Chase, Public Service Enterprise Group, RTL Services and TD Bank.  Ironbound Community Corporation has had an approved NRTC plan since 2008, for the Ironbound neighborhood of Newark.

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.

HANDS, Inc. is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1986 to ensure that the neighborhoods in and around Orange, NJ remain good places to raise a family through the revitalization neighborhoods through the high-impact development of vacant, troubled properties. HANDS’ prime mission is to protect the stability and vitality of residential neighborhoods is essential to family and community life. Additional information on HANDS, Inc. can be found at

Ironbound Community Corporation is a social service organization founded in 1969, created to empower the Ironbound section of Newark and produce a just, vibrant and sustainable community. ICC plays a leadership role in organizing and collaborating with community members and with stakeholders on a range of neighborhood issues. Additional information on ICC can be found at


The NRTC program is administered by the Division of Housing and Community Resources and provides community based non-profit 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.  NRTC has approved 96 grants to date to implement these neighborhood plans totaling $77 million in funding.

More information on the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program, visit


Tammori Petty
(609) 292-6055