City of Elizabeth Supports Effort to Build a Thriving NJ
Council approve resolution urging state officials to invest in affordable homes


The City of Elizabeth City Council, with the support of Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, have voted this week in favor of adopting a resolution supporting an effort to address housing affordability in New Jersey. The “Build a Thriving New Jersey” campaign urges elected officials and gubernatorial candidates to support an investment of $600 million annually into affordable homes.

“Our residents remain the biggest priority in the City of Elizabeth and I am proud to support the Build a Thriving New Jersey campaign,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “This initiative not only provides affordable home opportunities, but is a testament to what can be achieved when hardworking and determined partners come together to make a difference. I would like to thank Family Promise Union County, Monarch Housing, Elizabeth Coalition, HomeFirst, Community Access Unlimited and the Housing & the Community Development Network of New Jersey for investing in a program that revitalizes our local economy and strengthens our neighborhoods.”

Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) launched the “Build a Thriving New Jersey” campaign to boost the state’s economy through a plan that creates afford home opportunities and jobs for NJ residents. The State previously invested in ten community development programs but over the last decade but much of the funding has been diverted or abandoned. Several of the programs housing advocates say will help “build a thriving NJ” include the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, the State Rental Assistance Program, the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program (NRTC), Lead Poisoning Prevention and Weatherization, and Homeless Service Programs.

“The affordable homes crisis is the major cause of family homelessness in New Jersey and throughout the country,” states Geleen Donovan, Executive Director of Family Promise Union County, a shelter program serving homeless families, located in Elizabeth, New Jersey. “We support the Building a Thriving New Jersey campaign. Recently, Mayor Chris Bollwage, of the City of Elizabeth, visited our shelter program, where he pledged to support a City of Elizabeth Resolution, endorsing the Build a Thriving New Jersey campaign. We are very grateful to the Mayor and the Council members for adopting the resolution and joining us in the fight for housing justice!”

The resolution adopted by the council references the economic distress created by the 2008 recession, the foreclosure crisis, and Superstorm Sandy. According to the United Way’s recent ALICE report, 36 percent of Elizabeth residents are struggling to make ends meet despite being employed.

“If we can’t afford to live here, we can’t get our economy back on track,” said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network. “This will recharge our economy and benefit all NJ residents.

To learn more about Build a Thriving New Jersey, visit

For more information: Nina Arce
(609) 393-3752 x1200
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