HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 06-02
Alan Gelfand
(973) 622-7900 ext. 3105
For Release
January 12, 2006

Historic Pact Includes Veterans' Preference

NEWARK - U.S. Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Sean M. Moss was joined by Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison and representatives from private and nonprofit organizations today in Yorkship Square to
announce an agreement that allows the sale of HUD-owned single family properties to the City of Camden, spurring both new homeowners and further development of its waterfront area. The agreement also marks the second occasion that a HUD Asset Control Area (ACA) Program participant will give preference to active duty military personnel and returning veterans of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. In late November, Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson executed the first ACA Agreement providing a veterans' preference with the City of
New York.

"Housing Secretary Jackson's leadership is indispensable in advancing President Bush's vision of creating 5.5 million new minority homeowners by the end of this decade," said HUD New York and New Jersey Regional Administrator
Sean M. Moss. "To assist us in this effort, the HUD ACA Program will not only create the American Dream for more Camden residents, but also serve to strengthen and revitalize one of the City's most cherished and oldest communities. Further, we hope that by executing this ACA agreement, we will be able to demonstrate our
appreciation to all U.S. military personnel and their families for their extraordinary service by offering them
affordable homeownership opportunities via HUD's Asset Control Area Program."

Under HUD's ACA Program, localities and non-profit groups may purchase HUD-owned single-family properties at
deep discounts. The Program, which was created by Congress in 1998, aims to energize areas that have low homeownership rates, combat real estate speculators and their practices, and reduce the number of government foreclosed homes. The ACA Agreement between HUD and the City of Camden marks the thirteenth Agreement nationwide reached with a local municipality.

Mayor Gwendolyn A. Faison stated, "This is truly an indication that 'Camden is on the Move'. This program will reach into our community, reflecting that our city's revitalization efforts are well beyond the waterfront and downtown areas, reaching the heart of Camden, our residents. This will provide opportunities for Camden families to realize
their dreams of homeownership."

The ACA Agreement between HUD and the Camden will allow the City to acquire and renovate 107 HUD-owned, single-family properties in the neighborhood of Fairview Village, which is part of the City's overall comprehensive revitalization effort to expend $40 million to rehabilitate single-family properties in the once thriving Shipyard community known many years ago as Yorkship Village. In addition to qualified military personnel having an
opportunity to become first-time homebuyers, other families having an income at or below 115% of the area's
median income will also be given this same opportunity.

In addition to the creation of 107 affordable single-family properties, Camden's revitalization plan for Fairview also consists of renovating four vacant buildings into 20 affordable, three-bedroom rental units, and converting a vacant lot into a 100-unit multi-family tax credit project.

Just as Yorkship Village was used after World War I to provide rental housing, Fairview is being used today to
provide affordable homeownership opportunities to military personnel who served on active duty in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Under Camden's ACA Agreement, qualified military personnel will be offered
fully renovated homes at an affordable price during a five-day preference period prior to the homes being offered
to the general public.

The Fairview community was constructed after World War I to provide rental housing for workers at the New York Shipbuilding Company. Under the name of Yorkship Village, it was one of the nation's first planned communities, and, as such, was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1974. With the help of local housing partners, Camden's ultimate goal is to restore this historic affordable housing community.

To fully implement its revitalization plan, the City of Camden has partnered with the New Jersey Housing
Management Finance Agency (NJHMFA) and the for-profit developer, RPM Development Group. While NJHMFA will provide the bulk of the funding needed for this effort, the RPM Development Group will complete all necessary rehabilitation work and resell the ACA-acquired homes to owner-occupants.

HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as
well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and


Content Archived: July 11, 2011