FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 26, 2016


Grants Totaling $1,503,475 Will Help Revitalize the Valley Neighborhood in Orange & W. Orange and the Lower Broadway, Fairmount and Vailsburg Neighborhoods in Newark

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Charles A. Richman today announced $1,503,475 in grant awards through the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program to La Casa de Don Pedro, Inc., Urban League of Essex County (ULEC) and Unified Vailsburg Services Organization located in Newark. HANDS, Inc. Funding was also given to HANDS, Inc. located in Orange. 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.”

HANDS, Inc. was awarded $244,750 to develop a “gateway entrance” to the Valley Arts District and an entrepreneurship base adjacent to the Highland Avenue NJ Transit rail station. The grant will also be used to support collaborating community organizations that provide arts-related programming to involve community members, artists, youth and visitors in the Valley Arts District. Funds for these initiatives were contributed by PNC Bank and Valley National Bank.  HANDS Inc. has had an approved NRTC plan since 2008, for the Valley neighborhood of Orange.

With the $200,000 NRTC grant, La Casa de Don Pedro, Inc. will carry out the environmental review, remediation and demolition at a former commercial site, in preparation for future housing development. Funds were contributed by PSE&G for this project.  La Casa de Don Pedro has had an approved NRTC plan since 2006, for the Lower Broadway neighborhood of Newark.

The Urban League of Essex County will use $783,725 in NRTC grant funding to construct five, new, two- and three-family homes creating a total of 16 affordable and market-rate units. A new Streetscape Improvement Program will target a specific block and engage residents in a survey of their needs, provide landscaping, façade, sidewalk and home lighting improvements; and conduct post survey and project implementation results with the Police Dept. and neighborhood association to assess engagement and crime reduction. The Urban League will also use a portion of the funds to provide housing counseling for pre-purchase and financial literacy for up to 100 participants. A Construction Trades Job Training program will train 30 residents in a four week training session in job skill development to prepare them for jobs in the construction trades. The grant will also fund the acquisition and start-up costs of a new business, which will also function as a training facility for retail merchandising of used clothing and housewares.


Funds were contributed by NJM Insurance Group, PSE&G, Thomson Reuters and Valley National Bank.  Urban League of Essex County has had an approved NRTC plan since 2013, for the Fairmount neighborhood of Newark.


Unified Vailsburg Services Organization’s will use the $275,000 grant to aid in performing capital improvements to a commercial building, including elevator overhaul and asbestos removal.   The funds were contributed by PNC Bank, PSE&G and Valley National Bank.  Unified Vailsburg Services has had an approved NRTC plan since 2006, for the Vailsburg 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.

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, Paterson, Asbury Park, Millville, Jersey City, Camden, Trenton, Elizabeth and New Brunswick.

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

La Casa de Don Pedro, Inc. is a is a community based development corporation and provider of comprehensive services that has been working with and serving residents of greater Newark, New Jersey for more than 40 years. More information on La Casa de Don Pedro can be found at

The Urban League of Essex County is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged residents throughout Essex County, New Jersey. ULEC provides education programs, workforce development, housing counseling, reentry and youth empowerment and affordable housing development. Information on Urban League of Essex County can be found on

Unified Vailsburg Services Organization was founded in 1972 provide comprehensive programs that encourage neighborhood improvement through community outreach and housing development. Visit for more information.

More information on the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program, visit

Tammori Petty
Emike Omogbai
(609) 292-6055