DCA Announces Expansion of Neighborhood Preservation Program

  • Posted on: 06/17/2021

Program Anticipated to Double in Size to 40 Communities; Municipalities Can Now Apply to Join Program

TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) today announced that the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) is now accepting applications from municipalities and their partner nonprofit organizations to join the program. The application cycle is open to eligible municipalities that currently do not have an active NPP district. 

The NPP program, which the Murphy Administration revived in 2019, is designed to strengthen the economic health of threatened but viable neighborhoods in the state and to encourage private investment in these communities. The program focuses on revitalizing neighborhood districts through local planning and community participation and building local capacity and coordination to maximize grant funding and get the work done. There are currently 20 communities participating in the program. 

“The Neighborhood Preservation Program provides communities with technical assistance and grant funding to help them strengthen their downtown business districts,” said Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “Vibrant commercial districts are so important to the economic and social health of communities because they create places filled with energy and ambience that inspire people to gather together, innovate, create, and dream.” 
Municipalities that are interested in applying can visit: 
nj.gov/dca/dhcr/offices/nppapp.shtml on the DCA website to see if they meet the NPP eligibility criteria. 

To be eligible to apply, municipalities must have a neighborhood (census tract) that has been on a negative trajectory from 2010 through 2019 on an index of housing vacancies, home values, jobs, and poverty (75th Percentile on Distress Trajectory Index) or a Municipality COVID Economic Impact Score that is above the median for block groups. This score is an index of the post-COVID change in the unemployment rate and the business vacancy rate. Also, municipalities must have at least one neighborhood that has been struggling with housing vacancies, home values, jobs, and poverty, among other eligibility criteria. 

Municipalities must submit a notice of interest by July 2, 2021 and have until August 18, 2021 to apply for grant funds. 

DCA anticipates awarding up to $125,000 in grant funding per municipality to approximately 20 municipalities. 

There will be several opportunities for municipalities to receive information and technical assistance during the application period. For example, there will be an online application workshop at 10:30 a.m. on June 23, 2021. This workshop will explain and explore NPP itself, as well as go over the application process.
The online registration page for this workshop is here: 

Additionally, there will be an online Q & A workshop at 10:30 a.m. on June 30, 2021. This follow-up workshop will provide a forum for live questions regarding NPP and the application process.
The online registration page for this workshop is here: 

To maximize the impact of the NPP investment, municipalities will be required to show a commitment of resources from the neighborhood and municipality, as well as support from community organizations and residents. DCA also encourages applications from municipalities that are participating in other state or federal programs, including designation as a Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) neighborhood, Opportunity Zone, Main Street New Jersey district, Transit Village, Urban Enterprise Zone, or other relevant designations. 

NPP grant funds must be used for “neighborhood preservation and revitalization activities,” consisting of housing and economic development activities and other neighborhood preservation and revitalization activities. This includes projects such as: 

·    enhancements like lighting, seating, art, and performance spaces;

·    Public gardens and parklets;

·    Public Recreational Features like splash pads, musical installations, outdoor games and equipment;

·    Public outdoor seating and dining areas;

·    Shade features like mature trees, outdoor umbrellas, and pergolas;

·    Local small business gift card programs; and

·    Direct grants to small businesses. 

For more information on NPP, visit:

DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including energy assistance, housing vouchers, affordable housing production, fire and building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery and mitigation.

For more information about DCA, visit https://nj.gov/dca/ or follow the Department on social media:

   DCa on Twitter


Tammori Petty
Gina Trish
Lisa Ryan
(609) 292-6055