Grant Totaling $747,750 Will Revitalize the West Side Section of Asbury Park

TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Charles A. Richmantoday announced a $747,750 grant through the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program to Interfaith Neighbors, Inc. of Asbury Park. The NRTC program is administered by the DCA’s Division of Housing and Community Resources and provides community based non-profit groups with funding provided by corporate contributions intended for neighborhood revitalization projects.  Since the creation of the NRTC program, 34 corporations have contributed $88,081,000 to fund 29 neighborhood revitalization plans in 15 urban municipalities throughout the state.

“The NRTC program has seen more demand as the program has matured and become more competitive over the years,” said Commissioner Richman. “We’ve fully allocated $10 million in tax credits every year since 2010 and over the last five years seen a significant increase in the number of contributing corporations. Through NRTC, we will continue to support nonprofits and the increased need for economic development resources, including entrepreneur training and employment placement assistance.”

The NRTC grant will enable Interfaith Neighbors to carry out several initiatives throughout the community.

  • The Let’s Work Project will provide employment counseling services to a minimum of 200 people per year and place a minimum of 50 people per year in permanent employment.
  • A Big Brothers Big Sisters Youth Mentoring program will create ten new matches and sustain more than 70 matches between existing volunteer mentors and children. Gang prevention workshops will also be offered.
  • The Asbury Park Music Foundation will host a free weekly summer concert series in the new Springwood Avenue Community Park. 
  • An in-school residency arts-enrichment program, the Jazz Arts Project, geared to primary and middle school students, will be created for children in the Asbury Park school system.
  • The Kula Urban Farm Project is an urban agriculture project selling plants, vegetables and leafy greens paired with a community garden. Produce from the farm will be sold to local restaurants and in the Springwood Center Kula Café in the adjoining Springwood Center.
  • Funding will support the Business Development Center, which offers a combination of business support services and incubator facilities including business workshops, entrepreneurial training, business mentoring services, operation of a traditional business incubator and access to financing resources.
  • Twenty new homeownership and rental units, the first phase of the Turf Club Residences, will be developed on Springwood Avenue.
  • Grant funding will also allow for the purchase of properties for future residential development.
  • An additional program, Asbury JAMS Architectural and Engineering, will be created for site planning, architectural design and engineering studies for a multi-use "anchor building" (JAMS=Jobs, Arts, Music, Science)

Funds for these initiatives were contributed by NJ Natural Gas, PNC Bank and Selective Insurance. Corporations that fund the program receive a 100 percent tax credit against various state taxes for their investments in revitalizing low-and moderate-income neighborhoods in eligible cities.

The nonprofit organizations agree to allot at least 60 percent of the funds to housing and/or economic development activities.  The remainder may be used for complementary activities such as supportive services, improvements to streetscape and public open space, and community outreach activities. 

Other communities that have benefited from the NRTC program this year include Jersey City, Newark, Orange, New Brunswick,Trenton, Camden, Paterson, Salem, Elizabeth and Millville.

NRTC has approved 113 grants to date to implement neighborhood plans totaling $88 million in funding.

Interfaith Neighbors Inc. provides rental subsidies, constructs and rehabilitates affordable housing units for the underprivileged and homeless. Additional information on Interfaith Neighbors Inc. can be found at http://www.interfaithneighbors.org/ .Interfaith Neighbors has had an approved NRTC plan since 2006, for the West Side neighborhood of Asbury Park.

More information on the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program, visit http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/nrtc.html.