January 2020 Newsletter



January 2020

From the President & CEO

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a peaceful and joyous holiday season. The Network staff took a well-deserved break over the holidays, too. Just as we were all getting ready to celebrate the holidays we, like so many of our colleagues and friends around the state, were horrified by the hateful, Anti-Semitic attack in the Greenville section of Jersey City. Residents and leaders in Greenville have been participants in the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program, which the Network has championed since its inception. The Greenville plan, spearheaded by Garden State Episcopal CDC, has been instrumental in creating economic and housing opportunities in this dynamic area, and bringing together people from all walks of life. We will not let hate win; indeed, the Greenville Community Plan is "I Love Greenville." And so do we.

As we start 2020, we know we can do more for communities and residents to make our neighborhoods welcoming and our homes safe and affordable. We shepherded a record number of bills last year, but we are not slowing down at all. In addition to advancing our robust state policy agenda and budget advocacy to Build A Thriving New Jersey, our New Year resolutions include expanding our healthy homes and communities efforts, launching a new initiative to address renters' rights and building our capacity to engage our elected officials through the creation of a 501(c)4 organization. We will, of course, be involved in national issues and work with our Washington, D.C. partners to protect the Community Reinvestment Act and conduct non-partisan, voter engagement ahead of the critically important November election.

The election has sharpened the national conversation about housing affordability in our country. (ICYMI: We finally had a debate question back in November on the housing crisis, after a long Twitter campaign to get the moderators to ask one.) I think it will be an issue that gets increasingly more attention, especially as our work with the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign expands. Ensuring that everyone has a safe and affordable place to call home in a great community is not just at the core of the American Dream; it is a fundamental basic human right. This has been our mission since 1989, and that won't stop just because the calendar changes.

I am excited for this new year, for the future of our Network and look forward to all that we will accomplish together. Let's make 2020 the year we solve our housing crisis, support our neighbors and lift each other up.

Policy Update: Please Don't Let the Assembly Leave Us Out in the Cold 

One of our key policy priorities this lame duck session is strengthening the New Jersey's Code Blue laws, which are vital to providing shelter services for our state's homeless population and for residents in need during the coldest days of the winter.

The state's guidelines are currently ambiguous but two bills headed to the Assembly Chambers on Monday, January 13, aim to clarify protocol and provide necessary guidance for counties as they shelter residents in need during the coldest months of the year. Read more.

 Have you Heard of NEST? 

Neighborhood Empowerment & Safety Training (NEST) is the Housing and Community Development Network's approach to Crime Prevention. You may have heard of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, or as it's more commonly known: CPTED, rather than following the traditional model of CPTED which approaches a neighborhood from the top-down through its local authorities; the Network believes that the residents and stakeholders of a community are its greatest assets, and know what their neighborhood needs most. With this in mind the Network uses NEST to refocus CPTED into a process that involves the residency first by strengthening their capabilities through education, field exercises, and surveying events that ensure the community being addressed is informed and able to recognize the principles and empowerment associated with NEST. The Network offers varying degrees of NEST training and collaboration to fit the needs of the community being served. To date, the Network has conducted trainings across the state and collaborated with other New Jersey based NGOs to form NEST roadmaps that have gone on to become part of their NRTC plans.

If your organization or community would like more information or to collaborate with HCDNNJ on a NEST training seminar or project please contact Community Building Coordinator-Kelvin Boddy at [email protected] or 609-393-3752 Ext.2100.

Community Scholars Program!
Seeking Community Scholars

Do you know a student looking for an opportunity to develop skills towards a meaningful career? We are now recruiting academically outstanding college juniors, seniors and graduate students from all majors that have a personal focus or interest in community building. Throughout the course of our 10 week paid internship program, students will be exposed to a number of disciplines for preparation towards their future careers. Students who participate in the program gain real world experience with New Jersey's most influential community development non-profits. A link to the application and program information are available at https://www.hcdnnj.org/communityscholars.

For inquiries please contact Jessyca Hart, Office and Special Projects Coordinator at [email protected] or 609-393-3752 ext. 1000.

Seeking Host Members
The Network is also engaging our current members to participate as host sites and provide an opportunity for Scholars to work alongside professionals at your organization. Scholars will be an asset to your organization as we match their skillsets based on a host organization's project goals. Scholars report directly to the host organization's supervisor for mentorship and insight. Help foster the next generation of community leaders and participate as a HCDNNJ 2020 Community Scholars Program Host! A link to the application and program information are available at https://www.hcdnnj.org/communityscholars.

For inquires please contact Sharon Barker, Vice President and COO at [email protected] or 609-393-3752 ext. 1400.

Save the Date! Our Healthy Homes & Communities Summit is moving to
a New Date in April.

We are moving the Healthy Homes and Community Summit to a new date and time. The Summit will take place on Wednesday, April 29 at Forsgate Country Club.  Details and registration coming soon!

Quarterly Meeting for Housing Counselors

The HUD Housing Counselors Certification Exam is coming and we're here to help! We will have more information at the upcoming meeting which is scheduled for:

Wednesday, February 5
HCCDNNJ office
For more information, please contact Terri Benson at [email protected]

If your organization participates in any program authorized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, you may be required to receive certification. 

Click here for a chart that includes which programs are covered by the Housing Counselor Certification Rule, both in terms of meeting HUD's
Housing Counseling program requirements as well as who needs to be certified.

Federal Policy Watch

Opportunity Starts at Home
Take Action: Urge Congress to Pass Two New Bipartisan Housing Bills

Two major pieces of bipartisan legislation, both of which have been championed by NLIHC's multi-sector Opportunity Starts at Home campaign - the "Eviction Crisis Act" and the "Family Stability and Opportunity Vouchers Act" - were introduced in the Senate in the final weeks of 2019. Please urge advocates in your networks to send pre-formatted letters calling on their elected officials to support these bills. Submit your letters here and here. Read more.

House FSC to Hold Hearings on Homelessness, Affordable Housing, and CRA
House Financial Services Committee (FSC) Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) announced on January 4 several FSC and subcommittee hearings for the month of January related to homelessness, affordable housing, and the Community Reinvestment Act. Read more.

HUD Posts Two New Proposed Rules on FSS and PHA Capital Funds
HUD posted two new proposed regulations on the EO 12866 Regulatory Review web page of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), an arm of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). One proposed rule would implement changes to the Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program as required by statutory changes made in 2018. The second proposed rule would allow public housing agencies (PHAs) to establish replacement reserves to be used for Capital Fund-eligible purposes, as allowed by HOTMA statutory changes made in 2016. Read more.

Member Spotlight

NJ CDC Celebrates 25 Years!
Learn more about the work of New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC), a non-profit community development and social service agency based in Paterson, NJ. Celebrating our 25th Anniversary, our mission is creating opportunities to transform lives. See more.

Montclair Workshop Will Teach Home Renters About Tenant Rights
As part of a series of workshops aimed at easing the burden of finding a place to live, Montclair-based nonprofit HomeCorp will host a seminar about "tenant rights and responsibilities" in rental housing on Wednesday, January 15. Read more

In the News

Op-Ed: Cycle of Litigation Between Towns and Nonprofit Hospitals Must End
Legislation to create a community contribution fee that nonprofit hospitals would pay to their host municipalities would be a win-win. Read more.

Battling Inequity in Food Systems with Entrepreneurship
Communities of color have fewer opportunities in the food economy than whites, resulting in a variety of detrimental impacts, among them health related and the exacerbation of the racial wealth gap. Read more.

Protecting the Community Reinvestment Act Is an Investment in Economic Justice
The Trump administration is proposing major changes that would weaken fair lending and responsible banking requirements under the Community Reinvestment Act. Read more.

Evictions Are Down in New York. Thank the Voters.
The rent protections passed by the newly Democratic State Senate are working.This spring, New York State enacted the strongest tenant protections in a quarter-century. Already, they have made a difference in the lives of thousands of New York City residents. Read more.

In This Issue...

  1. From the CEO
  2. Policy Update
  3. Meeting for Housing Counselors
  4. Policy Watch
  5. Funding
  6. In the News
  7. Employment
  8. Resources

Thank You to Our Sponsors









Upcoming Events

NLIHC Housing Policy Forum
March 25-27

Healthy Homes and Communities Summit
Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Employment Opportunities

Healthy Homes and Communities Project Coordinator

NJ Community Capital
Various AmeriCorps VISTA Positions

Ironbound Community Corporation
Family Partner/ Administrative Assistant

Ironbound Community Corporation
Full Time Therapist, ICC Breaking The Cycle: Domestic Violence Program

Ironbound Community Corporation
Tax Preparer

Leviticus Fund
Director of Lending


The NJHMFA is proud to announce the Special Needs Housing Subsidy Loan Program approved at the December 19, 2019 board meeting. The Special Needs Housing Subsidy Loan Program will provide special needs housing and residential opportunities as alternatives to institutionalization or homelessness for those who would benefit and to ensure the long-term viability of such housing. Read more.

Federal Budget and Spending 
The ability to serve low income people in need depends on federal appropriations. NLIHC monitors the federal budget process and advocates for the highest possible allocation of resources at HUD and the USDA Rural Housing Service to support affordable housing and community development. Read More

Lead in Drinking Water: A Permanent Solution for New Jersey
New Jersey Future
Every person in New Jersey deserves a safe, healthy environment that nurtures their full potential. Lead exposure thwarts this basic goal. Across New Jersey, lead in drinking water threatens human health, especially for children. The task force's work culminated in the release of Lead in Drinking Water: A Permanent Solution for New Jersey. Read More

Funding Opportunities 

Soros Equality Fellowship
The Soros Equality Fellowship, a program of the Open Society Foundations, aims to support long-term leaders influencing the racial justice field. Read more

Bank of America
Grants Strengthen Economic Mobility in Bank Communities. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation works to advance pathways to economic mobility in order to build thriving communities. Read more

145 W Hanover St.
Trenton, New Jersey 08618
[email protected]

Follow Us: