The “I Love Greenville Community Plan” is a revitalization initiative established to improve economic development, education, and the overall quality of life for Greenville residents.
Facilitated by the Garden State Episcopal Community Development Corporation (GSECDC), the plan was designed hand-in-hand with more than 500 local residents and stakeholders. Built upon these voices, the plan outlines a comprehensive strategy to alleviate preexisting issues within the community through collaborative and organizational programs. To generate funding for these programs, the plan was developed through the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA) Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program. Through this investment-generating mechanism, the GSECDC attracted four businesses interested in the greater good of the Greenville community (Dixon Advisory USA, M&T Bank, JP Morgan Chase, and Sealy Mattress Co.) to earmark a portion of their state tax dollars towards the “I Love Greenville Community Plan.” To date, the funding has been a tremendous success, from raising $50,000 in 2016 to a staggering $930,920 raised in 2017 through robust corporate participation. This massive increase in funding has helped to expand and empower a variety of impactful programs that center on the enrichment of Greenville and its community.
The GSECDC Home Ownership Initiative is one of the many programs that has benefited from this increase in funding. When it comes to enriching a community and improving quality of life, providing affordable, safe, and favorably-located housing is critical. With this in mind, the GSECDC Home Ownership Initiative is designed to reduce the amount of abandoned and foreclosed properties in the Greenville neighborhood. Through restoration and development, these properties are then transformed to provide new, quality housing in an area that’s seen an increase in housing costs and less affordable options over the years. As housing costs rise, outpacing most incomes of Greenville residents proportionally, this initiative will serve to facilitate cost-burdened residents and provide them with a greater stake in the growth of Jersey City. As Tiffany McQueary, Chairperson for the Greenville Community Partnership, states, “The GSECDC has done our community a great service. They’ve helped to leverage investors and facilitate powerful programs that directly impact our community.” With a large uptick in funding this year, due to the contributions of the NRTC investor corporations, the GSECDC seeks to reduce the number of vacant lots by 25% and decrease the number of residents paying more than 30% of their income towards housing in the area.
Employing a proven model, the GSECDC has transformed and sold a total of 97 units in Jersey City, many of which are within the “I Love Greenville Community Plan” target area, including properties on Grant Avenue, Van Nostrand Avenue, and Oak Street to name a few. In recent news, 90 Virginia Avenue will be the newest addition to this list of successful projects. McQueary explains, “There’s a strong need for these types of initiatives in our community. [90 Virginia Avenue] is a fantastic project and we’re excited to see it moving forward.” The property itself will serve to create ten new affordable housing units. Projected housing costs for both buyers and renters will be approximately $1,000 per month. For sale units will include desirable amenities like one-car garages and large backyards. Central HVAC, ample closet space, hardwood floors, and stainless steel appliances will also be included. Rental units will feature similar finishes to for-sale units, and every unit will be within one block of a NJ Transit Light Rail Station and nearby other modes of transportation, shopping, and convenient points of interest.
This initiative will have an array of benefits in addition to the immediate goal of providing quality, affordable housing. With a large demand for affordable housing in Jersey City and increasing interest from outside investors, the GSECDC expects the value of their new home offerings to grow over the next ten years. As a result, future homebuyers will benefit from aided long-term wealth and in turn, will have a valuable stake in the City’s growth. Simultaneously, the design of the program will provide additional tax revenue for the City and further community stabilization. With a proven track record and a promising increase in funding, the Home Ownership Initiative provides immediate and long-term benefits to local residents and the City alike, proving to be a truly positive program to counteract rising housing costs and increased demand in Greenville.
If you’re interested in joining the effort to grow the prominence, prosperity and pride of Greenville, please visit the “I Love Greenville” website to learn more.