The Network and its friends and allies have been able to achieve positive change in New Jersey. Together, we have reached many important milestones with our municipal, state policy and capacity building work but much work remains. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support our ongoing efforts. You can click here to make a contribution. Your support for the Network will allow us to maximize our collective resources to help build strong communities and create the jobs, homes and positive future that all New Jerseyans need and deserve.
Here are some key achievements that you helped make possible in 2012:
- Stopped municipal housing trust funds from being taken to balance the FY2013 budget or provide unnecessary tax cuts pending court review. We helped develop an amicus submission to oppose the governor's attempt to take these funds without going through COAH.
- Advanced a proposal to expand New Jersey's Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit by $5 million to revitalize additional communities. We published a study demonstrating the positive economic and social impacts the program has had on NJ's older communities to support this effort, in partnership with NJ Community Capital, members and investors. Legislation to expand the bill has passed the Assembly and awaits a vote before the full Senate.
- Moved two bills addressing New Jersey's foreclosure problems all the way to the governor's desk, including legislation to accelerate mortgage foreclosures of vacant properties, which was signed into law in December. Its companion bill, which would facilitate the purchase of foreclosed houses from lenders for market or affordable homes, is waiting for the Governor's signature.
- Worked with planning and environmental allies in Together North Jersey to help roll out a $5 million, three-year HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning effort in the North Jersey Transportation Region.
- Hosted U.S. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan at both our June, 2012 AND our December, 2012 Membership Meetings. The goal of the latter was to provide timely information to organizations affected by Hurricane Sandy, and strategize about ways to support recovery efforts.
- Expanded our NJ Community Leadership Initiative to involve 17 municipalities, which all participated in our second Community Leadership Institute in September. The Institute served as a forum to explore proactive strategies and systems reforms for gaining control of and repurposing problem properties. With our CLI partners, we got bills introduced to expand the usefulness of land banks as a tool for revitalization in New Jersey, and to change NJ's tax sale law to provide more options for generating revenue and gaining control of troubled properties.
- Facilitated numerous workshops and strategy sessions for community developers and municipal staff to advance local equitable development and revitalization work. As a result, many of our members and municipal partners were able to make significant progress with their systems and strategies for reclaiming problem properties, achieving construction efficiencies, and marketing homes and neighborhoods.
- Held an Advocacy Day in June, attended by nearly 100 members and partners, as well as numerous other educational and advocacy events to educate policy makers about our collective agenda and build support for our issues
Since 1989, our members have created nearly 30,000 homes, employed and/or trained over 20,000 residents, constructed and renovated over 840,000 square feet of commercial space, and created 24 strategic neighborhood revitalization plans in partnership with community stakeholders in cities throughout the state.
We hope you will be able to help us advance our mutual goals and improve New Jersey in 2013 by making a tax-deductible contribution.
We are so grateful for your involvement and support for the Network. Thanks for everything you do.
If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us at (609) 393-3752. Don't forget to keep up with our happenings on Facebook, www.facebook.com/hcdnnj and Twitter, www.twitter.com/hcdnnj.