Asbury Park, NJ - New Jersey Natural Gas (NJNG) and Interfaith Neighbors, Inc. announced the completion of two new energy-efficient homes (located at 30 and 40 DeWitt Avenue) on the West Side of Asbury Park as part of their long-standing collaboration to provide affordable housing opportunities to deserving families and individuals in Monmouth County.
Home ownership has proven to be one of the most reliable means of self-sufficiency for American families. “We are proud to have worked side-by-side with Interfaith Neighbors for the past 17 years, helping families fulfill their dreams of homeownership. We congratulate today’s first-time homeowners and wish them much happiness,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of NJNG.
The current affordable housing project on DeWitt Avenue is the final phase of Interfaith Neighbors’ five-year effort to improve housing conditions and provide affordable homeownership opportunities in Asbury Park’s West Side neighborhood through its Strategic Target Area Rebuilding Spirit initiative. That effort began in 2009 with funding provided through the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Housing Urban Development Neighborhood Stabilization program. In collaboration with the Affordable Housing Alliance and Coastal Habitat for Humanity, and with support from NJNG and other members of the business community, Interfaith Neighbors developed 28 units of new, affordable housing that consist of 20 single-family, for-sale homes and eight rental units in the Springwood Center building, providing affordable housing opportunities for West Side residents. ”Through such partnerships, we are able to provide residents the chance to purchase affordable, newly constructed homes at prices significantly below market rates for comparable homes,” Joseph Marmora, executive director of Interfaith Neighbors, emphasized.
Interfaith Neighbors is continuing that process as it moves forward with the development of five additional single-family, for-sale homes on DeWitt Avenue. The two recent homes at 30 and 40 DeWitt Avenue represent the ongoing collaboration of community organizations focused on the redevelopment of Asbury Park. Moreover, the homes feature high-efficiency equipment, appliances and energy-efficiency lighting to help families conserve energy and manage their energy costs.
“By focusing our efforts on one specific area of Asbury’s West Side, we can have a significant impact on a micro neighborhood,” Marmora said. “We help create greater stability for the neighborhood by increasing the number of home owners in the immediate area and converting vacant parcels into productive properties while contributing to the City’s tax income.” The construction of these homes is funded through the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program, with grants made possible through the generous support of NJNG and other corporate donors. NRTC aims to improve housing conditions, strengthen the economy and enhance the quality of life through the redevelopment of Asbury Park’s West Side.
“This is a wonderful success story that complements the outstanding relationship we have enjoyed with Interfaith Neighbors. And we look forward to this continued partnership and that of other community organizations as we seek to strengthen the local economy and advance the development of underserved areas,” Downes said.