Habitat for Humanity Groundbreaking

HMFA Helps Break Ground on 9-Unit Habitat for Humanity Project in Camden
Groundbreaking Commemorates World Habitat Day

CAMDEN - New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) staff joined local officials, community leaders and volunteers on World Habitat Day to break ground on the 9-unit Habitat Homes at Cooper Plaza Phase I project in Camden. The HMFA; A Better Camden Corporation, a HMFA subsidiary corporation; and the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) played key roles in moving the Habitat for Humanity project forward.

Under Governor Corzine's leadership, the HMFA and DCA have helped invest more than $340 million in the construction of over 2,500 housing opportunities for the residents of Camden in every neighborhood of the City. Also, the State has created, preserved, or rehabilitated nearly 30,300 affordable housing units for New Jersey's working families since the Governor took office in 2006. That represents an increase of more than 16 percent in housing units from 2002 to 2005 and is more than double the 14,709 units created from 1998 to 2001.

"We have a moral responsibility to provide New Jersey residents with access to good, safe housing that is within their means. This has been a goal of my administration and it is gratifying to see we are making progress one project at a time," Governor Corzine said.

Habitat Homes at Cooper Plaza could not have happened without the support of A Better Camden Corporation, which acquired six of the 13 vacant properties needed for the project. The Corporation was formed in 1997 to facilitate the implementation of the Camden Initiative, which is a coordinated effort among the HMFA, DCA, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA) to stimulate housing and economic development in the City. The DCA will also provide up to $200,000 towards the project's financing as part of its Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program.

"Today's groundbreaking represents one of a number of redevelopment activities that are occurring throughout Camden on many fronts," said HMFA Executive Director Marge Della Vecchia. "The HMFA is proud to have been involved in the Habitat Homes at Cooper Plaza development just as we are proud of our collective commitment to Camden's neighborhoods and the City’s development."

The United Nations has designated the first Monday in October as annual World Habitat Day. The day is meant to reaffirm that adequate shelter is a basic human right and to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.

HMFA, a DCA affiliate, is dedicated to increasing the availability of and accessibility to safe, decent and affordable housing to families in New Jersey. To learn more about HMFA programs, please log on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/hmfa/ or call 609-278-7400.