April 19, 2024


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Mayor Ras J. Baraka was honored on April 12 by the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (HCDN) for his leadership in successfully “prioritizing making safe, healthy, and affordable homes available for residents.” His administration will be similarly recognized by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in the coming weeks for its exemplary neighborhood achievements.

In presenting their award, the HCDN said Mayor Baraka and the City of Newark were “the first to take advantage of the monumental Land Bank Law, forming the Newark Land Bank in 2019…one of the first cities in the entire country to enforce the civil right to counsel for tenants facing eviction, creating the Office of Tenant Legal Services in2018. In addition to addressing the homeownership wealth gap, Newark is also a leader in tackling homelessness through innovative programs such as Hope Villages, a project that upscales shipping containers into code-compliant modular residences.”


“I feel honored and privileged to receive these awards, but the true credit and my gratitude goes to everyone who has collaborated to realize our goals for affordable housing and revitalized neighborhoods,” said Mayor Baraka. “I’m grateful to both HCDN and LISC for their partnerships. I congratulate Newark’s Department of Economic and Housing Development Director Allison Ladd and her superb staff for their innovative strategies. Newark is a city brimming with creativity and communal cooperation, and by working together we lift each other to new heights.”


Staci Berger, the network’s President and CEO, said, “Since taking office in 2014, Mayor Baraka has helped strengthen neighborhoods across the city by addressing affordability while maintaining growth through responsible urban revitalization. As a result, Newark has received numerous accolades including several Outstanding Municipal Partner Awards for their work with Network members like Clinton Hill Community Action, La Casa de Don Pedro, and Ironbound Community Corporation.”


Ata dinner on May 1, at the Robert Treat Hotel, LISC will present its New Jersey Neighborhood Achievement Awards. The group has chosen Newark and the city’s Department of Economic and Housing Development (EHD) with its 2024 Exemplary Public Partner Award. Also honored will be David Troutt, Director and Founder of Rutgers University Law School – Center on Law inequality and Metropolitan Equity (CLiME).


The Exemplary Public Partner Award recognizes a public community partner that has displayed extraordinary collaborative efforts that help in revitalizing communities.


“Our theme this year is ‘Celebrating Vanguards of Community Change,’” said Judith Thompson Morris, Deputy Executive Director of Greater Newark LISC. “EHD’s body of work and its impactful contribution towards ensuring the development of equitable inclusive communities of opportunity in Greater Newark and New Jersey, as well as the scholarly endeavors of Director Troutt, have resulted in significant impacts on community development, and have set a remarkable standard of excellence.”


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 275 community development corporations, individuals and other organizations that support the creation of affordable homes, economic opportunities, and strong communities. In its 35th year, their work is driven by the principle that everyone should have a safe, affordable home in a community of their choice. The Network provides exceptional public policy education and advocacy; critical technical assistance and resource development; and cutting-edge research and ideas to advance housing and community development opportunities. They are committed to ensuring racial, economic, and social justice to make New Jersey a place everyone can afford to call home.


About Greater Newark LISC

Since 1986, Greater Newark LISC has collaborated with community-based organizations in Newark and the surrounding region to improve the quality of life for residents and shopkeepers. With support from their affiliates, they have invested more than $386 million in Greater Newark and have contributed to the production of more than 2,600affordable homes and apartments and more than 820,000 square feet of commercial space. LISC is one of the country's largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. LISC works with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth, and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive.




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