Network Receives Community Foundation Grants
Funds support Mercer Area neighborhood stabilization projects 


The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) has received a $30,000 grant from the Princeton Area Community Foundation (PACF), the community foundation serving Mercer County and central New Jersey, in support of its Mercer County Development Team and Trenton Problem Properties Initiative. The grant includes a contribution from the Harbourton Foundation, a Princeton based foundation that supports scientific research, community development and academic support programs. 

"We're very honored to have been selected by PACF for its Great Mercer Grant," said Diane Sterner, executive director of the Network. "Mercer County communities continue to be hurt by foreclosures, which affect homeowners, property owners and tenants, as well as the surrounding neighborhood.  This is especially true in Trenton, where foreclosed homes often become vacant, leading to an array of complicating and costly issues for neighbors and the municipality. PACF's generous support will help bring together variety of community stakeholders in an effort to enhance our neighborhoods."

The Trenton Problem Properties Initiative brings together the Trenton's grassroots and municipal leaders to develop strategies to address its massive inventory of vacant and abandoned properties. Meanwhile, the Mercer County Development Team is working to overcome community development barriers, take advantage of changing policy dynamics, and help resolve critical issues such as homelessness and barriers to affordable homes in suburban communities for lower income residents.

In the next year, the Mercer County Development Team will work to create additional resources for Network members, including those needed to turn foreclosed properties into community assets, and collaborate on peer sharing/partnering and addressing challenges or obstacles to development.  At the same time, and with some of the same key partners, the Network will engage civic, development and municipal leaders in the city of Trenton, to adopt, refine and implement solutions to the alarming problem of abandoned properties in the city. 

"The Community Foundation is proud to support the Network," said PACF President Nancy Kieling. "Their ambitious efforts are having a real impact on public policy and on the organizations they serve by building relationships that work—and last. The Problem Properties Initiative addresses a critical need, and has great potential to foster visible change in our community." 

The Princeton Area Community Foundation promotes philanthropy to advance the well-being of our communities forever. For more information on the Community Foundation please contact them at 609-219-1800 or online at The Housing and Community Development Network supports New Jersey’s community development sector, collaborating with more than 250 members including CDCs and other organizations to create affordable homes, expand economic opportunities, and build strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit

For more information: Staci Berger
Housing & Community Development Network of NJ
(609) 393-3752 x11
[email protected]
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