FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 26, 2016


Grants Totaling $2,305,497 Will Help Revitalize the North Camden, East Camden and Cooper Plaza Neighborhoods

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Charles A. Richman today announced $2,305,497 in grant awards through the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program to the Cooper Health System, Camden Lutheran Housing, Inc. and Saint Joseph's Carpenter Society located in Camden. The NRTC program is administered by the DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources and provides community based non-profit groups with funding provided by corporate contributions intended for neighborhood revitalization projects.  Since the creation of the NRTC program, 34 corporations have contributed $88,081,000 to fund 29 neighborhood revitalization plans in 15 urban municipalities throughout the state.

“The NRTC program has seen more demand as the program has matured and become more competitive over the years,” said Commissioner Richman. “We’ve fully allocated $10 million in tax credits every year since 2010 and over the last five years seen a significant increase in the number of contributing corporations. Through NRTC, we will continue to support nonprofits and the increased need for economic development resources, including entrepreneur training and employment placement assistance.”

The purpose of the Neighborhood Revitalization State Tax Credit Act is to foster the revitalization of New Jersey’s low and moderate-income neighborhoods through comprehensive strategies driven by residents and other public and private stakeholders within the neighborhood; specifically, (1) to encourage community-based neighborhood planning; (2) to provide flexible resources for community-based organizations to carry out strategies established in neighborhood plans; (3) to build the capacity of local and community-based organizations to carry out neighborhood revitalization activities; (4) to attract private investment into New Jersey’s low and moderate-income neighborhoods; and (5) to foster ongoing partnerships between private corporations and community-based development organizations.

The Cooper Health System will use the 950,272 in grant funds to revitalize the community.

 Two local nonprofit organizations will rehabilitate six vacant and blighted residential properties on key neighborhood blocks for resale.

  • Five vacant, blighted properties will be acquired for redevelopment.
  • A residential facade improvement program will be developed for occupied residential properties on four to five additional blocks; each assisted home will receive approximately $5,000 for exterior improvements.
  • Clean & Safe Services will handle the daily maintenance for three community parks and for sidewalks in ten neighborhood blocks, to improve cleanliness, maintain neighborhood assets and improve neighborhood safety.

The funds for these activities were contributed by NJM Insurance Group and PSE&G.  The Cooper Health System has had an approved NRTC plan since 2009, for the Cooper Plaza neighborhood of Camden.

Camden Lutheran Housing, Inc. will use $370,225 in grant funding to implement numerous activities.

  • The NJ Tree Foundation will plant 26 trees with 40 volunteers and provide tree maintenance with the 'Green Streets Crew', comprised of formerly incarcerated inmates currently under parole supervision.
  • Up to 60 abandoned residential properties in the neighborhood will be cleaned-out and decoratively boarded-up, using local resident labor.
  • The Block Supporter Initiative will organize and engage residents and businesses, block by block, to improve property appearance thru anti-litter campaigns, graffiti removal, installation of flower boxes and tree lights.
  • Graduates of Respond's Auto Tech Program will be provided hands-on experience in auto repair, to improve prospects for both Automotive Service Excellence Certification and further employment in the field.
  • The Safe Places to Play Initiative will provide structured, safe recreation in public parks to children ages 4-16 administered by trained YMCA staff.

 Funds for these initiatives were contributed by Campbell Soup, IOA Northeast and PNC Bank.  Camden Lutheran/North Camden Collaborative has had an approved NRTC plan since 2009, for the North Camden neighborhood of Camden. 

A $985,000 grant will assist Saint Joseph's Carpenter Society in revitalizing the East Camden neighborhood.

  • A corner property will be acquired for mixed-use redevelopment (ground-floor commercial/retail, upper floor apartments).
  • The Home Improvement Program will assist up to 28 homeowners, to repair/replace a basic system (heating, roofing, plumbing, electric) up to a maximum of $5,000 per property.
  • The Clean and Safe Program will provide maintenance in the commercial corridor five days a week, to improve cleanliness, maintain neighborhood assets and improve neighborhood safety.
  • Ten vacant, residential buildings will be purchased from the City of Camden for later redevelopment.
  • Improvements at the Five Points Intersection will be made to improve conditions for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
  • Park and Open Space Programming will include a pop-up park, outdoor community movie nights, concert nights at the Dudley Grange Park Amphitheater, and installation of bike racks.
  • The Community Building Initiative will install a fence on a large vacant lot (intended to become an urban garden) and a mural to enhance curb appeal.
  • The Federal Street Business Initiative will carry out an outreach campaign to engage businesses; survey of business needs and wants; quarterly meetings with business men/women.

 Funds for these activities were contributed by PSE&G and Wells Fargo Bank.  St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society has had an approved NRTC plan since 2013, for the East Camden neighborhood of Camden.

 Corporations 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.

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 113 grants to date to implement these neighborhood plans totaling $88 million in funding.

Other communities that have benefited from the NRTC program this year include Salem, Newark, Orange, Asbury Park, Millville, Jersey City, Paterson, Trenton, Elizabeth and New Brunswick.

The Cooper Health System is a non-profit health care organization, which includes Cooper University Hospital, The Children’s Regional Hospital and the clinical campus of the University of Medicine and Dentistry/ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Additional information about the Cooper Health System can be found at

Camden Lutheran Housing, Inc. is a non-profit, community based organization whose mission is to rehabilitate and newly construct housing in the City of Camden for low and moderate-income individuals and families. More information on Camden Lutheran Housing, Inc can be found at

Saint Joseph's Carpenter Society was founded in 1985 to help families improve their quality of life and to create safe neighborhoods through homeownership in Camden, New Jersey, through homeowner education, housing development, and community organizing. More information about this organization can be found at

More information on the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program, visit

Tammori Petty
Emike Omogbai
(609) 292-6055