HUD No. 09-18
October 5, 2009
HUD, CAMDEN CELEBRATE WORLD HABITAT DAY
Groundbreaking for Nine-Units of Affordable Housing at Cooper Plaza
NEWARK - As part of World Habitat Day, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the City of
Camden, the Metropolitan Camden Habitat for Humanity, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, and others celebrated the construction of nine-units of affordable housing at Cooper Plaza in Camden, New Jersey. Attendees included Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison, State Senator Dana Reed, HUD Deputy Regional Director JoAnna Aniello, and HUD New Jersey State Director Diane Johnson.
"HUD is very proud to take a leading role in World Habitat Day, both nationally and at the local level across America," said Diane Johnson, HUD New Jersey State Director. "I am delighted that our partnership with the City of Camden
and the Metropolitan Camden Habitat for Humanity will help create affordable homeownership opportunities for
Camden residents wishing to share in the American Dream."
For the first time ever, the United States played host to World Habitat Day, an annual international event sponsored by the United Nations General Assembly to promote innovations in affordable housing and sustainable urban development. This year's theme was Planning Our Urban Future with events and celebrations in Washington, D.C.
and cities across the country that sought to raise awareness for improved urban planning to handle the challenges
of the 21st century.
Mayor Gwendolyn Faison said "The Cooper Plaza neighborhood is coming back. Long one of the most desirable areas
in the City, it is experiencing a rebirth and redevelopment. Many institutions and agencies are contributing to this neighborhood revitalization, and this project is a key component. It is my pleasure to join with HUD, State and local officials and Cooper Plaza residents to break ground on this project and to celebrate World Habitat Day."
The new two-story townhouses being built by the Metropolitan Camden Habitat for Humanity continues its effort to revitalize the 6th Street neighborhood of Cooper Plaza, where the group just completed the construction of seven other homeownership units. These new nine-unit townhouses will be single-family, owner-occupied and targeted to households between 25 to 60 percent of median income. There are seven three-bedrooms units priced at $96,000, while the two four-bedroom units will sell for $102,000.
"Housing security has been shown to have an enormous impact on our children's futures", said Douglass Wagner, Executive Director of Metropolitan Camden Habitat for Humanity. "With the help of many supporters being
recognized today at this groundbreaking, Metropolitan Camden Habitat for Humanity's Cooper Plaza Project will
provide affordable homeownership for 9 very-low-income households."
The townhouse design will also blend in with the existing row homes nearby as well as the new 3-story infill units
that will be developed further north on 6th Street. Unlike traditional row houses, which are three steps up to the
front door, the town home design has only an 8" rise from the sidewalk, allowing for easier access for people with walking problems. Further, each unit has its own ramp tucked up against the front wall inside the railing, allowing for access by people who are wheel-chair bound. Construction is expected to begin in December, 2009, with completion 18 months later.
Funding for the development came from investments made by PSE&G through the NJ Department of Community
Affairs' Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program, the Danellie Foundation, HUD HOME Program funding through the City of Camden, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York through member Columbia Bank, and other private funding sources, including local businesses, foundations, the faith-based community, and private individuals. Site acquisition was partially financed by the NJ Housing & Mortgage Finance Agency through its subsidiary, A Better Camden Corporation (ABC Corp.).
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 and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the
Internet and espanol.hud.gov.