Investing in Housing Choices Generates Billions for NJ Economy, Advocates Tell Legislators

Advocates present economic impact report to Assembly committee as part of annual lobby day

WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 17, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — NJ nonprofit community developers testified on the sector’s multi-billion dollar economic impact at a State House hearing before the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee today. Citing a report that found the sector has generated $12 billion for the state’s economy, over 100 advocates met with lawmakers urging greater investment in the state budget for housing and community development as part of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey’s (the Network) annual Lobby Day.

“New Jersey’s community development sector has improved the quality of our neighborhoods while at the same time growing our state and local economy,” said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network. “State leaders need to invest in ways to create more homes, including preserving money from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and expanding the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program. As the Stronger Together report shows, greater investment spurs greater opportunities and helps our economy and our residents thrive.”

Nonprofit community developers offered testimony on the Network’s Stronger Together report which found that nonprofit community developers have made a $12 billion dollar impact on New Jersey’s economy through the creation of jobs, tax revenue, affordable homes, small business development, and neighborhood revitalization. According to the report, since 1989, NJ community developers have created 82,000 jobs, provided job training for more than 10,500 local residents, employed 10,000 permanent staff members, and contributed $5.5 billion in worker wages and in contracts with NJ businesses. They have also built over 3.7 million square feet of commercial space for new and expanding small businesses. Although they are exempt from some taxes as nonprofits, Stronger Together found that community developers have generated $320 million in state tax revenue.

“Revitalizing urban neighborhoods happens when families and businesses perceive that their future will be better off there,” said Patrick Morrissy, executive director of HANDS, Inc. “At HANDS, we have redeveloped 174 pivotal residential, commercial and industrial properties that have created positive momentum in the neighborhoods of Orange and East Orange – restoring hope, attracting investment and placing those neighborhoods on a path to being good places to raise a family and own a business.”

Nonprofit community developers offered testimony on the Network’s Stronger Together report which found that nonprofit community developers have made a $12 billion dollar impact on New Jersey’s economy through the creation of jobs, tax revenue, affordable homes, small business development, and neighborhood revitalization. According to the report, since 1989, NJ community developers have created 82,000 jobs, provided job training for more than 10,500 local residents, employed 10,000 permanent staff members, and contributed $5.5 billion in worker wages and in contracts with NJ businesses. They have also built over 3.7 million square feet of commercial space for new and expanding small businesses. Although they are exempt from some taxes as nonprofits, Stronger Together found that community developers have generated $320 million in state tax revenue.

“Revitalizing urban neighborhoods happens when families and businesses perceive that their future will be better off there,” said Patrick Morrissy, executive director of HANDS, Inc. “At HANDS, we have redeveloped 174 pivotal residential, commercial and industrial properties that have created positive momentum in the neighborhoods of Orange and East Orange – restoring hope, attracting investment and placing those neighborhoods on a path to being good places to raise a family and own a business.”

Joining Berger and Morrissy on the expert panel providing testimony at the Assembly Committee hearing were Barbara Dunn, executive director of Paterson Habitat for Humanity and Rhonda Coe, principal and founder of R. B. Coe Consulting and executive director of Building Believers Trust Corporation.

“Many people associate the North Jersey region as the state’s economic leader but in South Jersey, community development projects have generated $4.8 billion for the state’s economy,” said Rhonda Coe, principal and founder of R. B. Coe Consulting, LLC. “Investments made into the sector have allowed us to create healthy, sustainable communities where residents have been able to thrive.”

In addition to presenting to the legislative committee, advocates met individual lawmakers as well as hand deliver letters to legislative leaders signed by more than forty organizations urging greater investment in NJ’s FY2016 state budget for the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program, the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and the State Rental Assistance Program. Foreclosure prevention legislation, including protection for Sandy survivors and other measures to protect problem properties were also on the list of policy priorities advocates discussed with legislators.

To access Stronger Together: The $12 Billion Impact of Community Corporations in New Jersey, visit www.hcdnnj.org/strongertogether.

About the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ
The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey is the statewide association of more than 250 community development corporations, individuals and other organizations that support the creation of affordable homes, economic opportunities, and strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit www.hcdnnj.org.

For more information: Nina Arce
(609) 393-3752 x1200
(609) 789-7900
Website: hcdnnj.org
Twitter site: twitter.com/hcdnnj
Facebook site: facebook.com/hcdnnj

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