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New Jersey American Water Announces Nearly $1 Million Grant to Fund Cramer Hill Revitalization Projects

CAMDEN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Today, representatives from the City of Camden, New Jersey American Water, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society, community partners and Camden residents gathered for the announcement of a $985,000 Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) grant from New Jersey American Water to fund revitalization efforts in the Cramer Hill neighborhood in Camden.

“Today’s announcement marks not only another significant investment in Camden by New Jersey American Water, but the realization of years of planning by the residents of the Cramer Hill neighborhood,” said Camden Mayor Francisco “Frank” Moran. “The development of the Cramer Hill NOW! Plan was very much a community-driven process. It’s wonderful to see this investment’s direct benefit to our residents in the form of enhanced open spaces, improved housing and upgrades to the City’s aging infrastructure. I am confident in all of the partners involved and certain these funds will be a catalyst for substantive change throughout Cramer Hill.”

The NRTC program is designed to foster the revitalization of New Jersey's distressed neighborhoods. NRTC funds are used by neighborhood-based non-profit organizations that have prepared, submitted and received approval from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs for a revitalization plan for the neighborhood it serves. The funds must be used by the eligible organizations for projects and activities that will implement the goals and strategies of the approved neighborhood plan.

“The Department of Community Affairs’ Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program has afforded New Jersey communities the means to bring about neighborhood change over time, which is the formula it takes to achieve significant revitalization,” said Lieutenant Governor and DCA Commissioner Sheila Y. Oliver. “Camden’s Cramer Hill neighborhood is being given a great opportunity to build a stronger community while focusing on the needs of their working families, seniors and children. I look forward to celebrating the results of this exciting project and am hopeful that these funds will help to improve the quality of life for Camden residents while making it a safer and more vibrant place to live.”

New Jersey American Water has successfully allocated tax credits through the NRTC program since 2010. To date, New Jersey American Water has contributed nearly $5.8 million to local community projects through the program.

This year, New Jersey American Water selected the 2018 Revitalization Projects from the Cramer Hill NOW! Plan as the benefactor of its NRTC grant funds. As a resident-driven blueprint for the community, Cramer Hill NOW! outlines a vision to create a social service network tailored specifically to the Cramer Hill neighborhood. The NRTC grant funds will be used to mitigate flooding, improve local parks, ensure residents are healthier and more secure in their homes and help promote Cramer Hill as a vibrant, safe neighborhood to live, work and play.

“The Cramer Hill NOW! Plan centers on needed improvements to infrastructure, parks, housing, neighborhood and community spaces, which aligns perfectly with our company’s overall corporate giving and investment goals,” said Deborah Degillio, president of New Jersey American Water. “The revitalization projects outlined in the plan demonstrate the power of partnership and the positive change that can occur when likeminded community organizations come together for a common goal. We are proud to do our part to make this Camden neighborhood a better place to live and work.”

New Jersey American Water is partnering with Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society and the Camden Special Services District (CSSD) in order to complete the 2018 Cramer Hill Revitalization Projects.

“The 2018 Cramer Hill Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Projects are designed to re-energize the community by providing innovative housing programs and much-needed infrastructure improvements to benefit both current residents and generations to come,” explained Kris Kolluri, President and CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership. “With these funds, we are able to address real issues and needs, leveraging all available resources through our partners to enact real change in Cramer Hill.”

New Jersey American Water’s support of the 2018 Cramer Hill Revitalization Projects will benefit residents in the Cramer Hill neighborhood in four distinct ways:

  • Home repair grant program – providing $5,000 in grants to homeowners making 100% or below the median family income for health and safety repairs to necessary basic systems in a home, including electrical, plumbing, weatherization, heating/air conditioning and roofing.
  • Flooding mitigation/park improvements – Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, in collaboration with the City of Camden and Camden County have been working on the Von Nieda Park Stormwater Management & Park Improvement project to increase public access by eliminating flooding in the park, via structural and non-structural methods, and to enhance recreational opportunities. This grant will help fund Phase 3 of the project – completing an additional phase of green and gray infrastructure and park improvements to the portion of the park located east of River Road in order to help mitigate flooding and further enhance recreational amenities in the neighborhood.
  • Green infrastructure – Camden SMART (Stormwater Management And Resource Training) Initiative, a community-driven movement to protect human health, improve conditions for economic development, improve water quality, and enhance the quality of life for Camden City, its residents, and the Delaware River watershed through the broad use of green and grey infrastructure techniques for stormwater management, have constructed four green infrastructure components in Cramer Hill that collectively manage more than 369,000 million gallons of stormwater annually. In order for these green infrastructure projects to properly function, they must be maintained on a regular basis – NRTC funding would allow for the Camden Special Services District to complete improvements and maintenance at the following sites:

1. 29th Street Rain Gardens – 440 28th Street & 2852 Tyler Avenue
2. 20th Street Community Garden & Rain Garden – N. 20th Street, near River Road
3. Von Nieda Park Rain Garden – Reeves & Pierce Avenue

  • Vacant housing rehabilitation – Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society will transform four vacant, abandoned and blighted properties located in the Cramer Hill neighborhood into beautiful homeownership opportunities for four families.

“Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society looks forward to working with community members on a resident-driven approach to preserving and enhancing the existing housing stock in Cramer Hill. In partnership with Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, New Jersey American Water and the City of Camden, repairing and reclaiming homes embodies the importance of families to the future of Cramer Hill,” said Pilar Hogan Closkey, Executive Director of Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society.

For more information about the many ways New Jersey American Water gives back to the communities they serve, visit https://amwater.com/njaw/news-community/community-involvement.

About New Jersey American Water:

New Jersey American Water, a subsidiary of American Water, is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 2.7 million people. More information can be found at www.newjerseyamwater.com. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water (AWK) is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. The company employs 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.

About Cooper’s Ferry Partnership:

For the over 30 years, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership (CFP) has been facilitating the revival of the City of Camden by creating an environment where people choose to live, work, visit, study and invest. CFP develops visionary, long-range plans for the redevelopment of Camden’s waterfronts and neighborhoods and works with private sector, government and community partners to make these plans a reality. Through all its work, CFP is committed to engaging the community of the City of Camden. Utilizing strategic planning techniques through coordination with neighborhood groups and individuals, CFP ensures that the Camden community voices their opinions, wants, and needs concerning projects. Citizens are engaged in all project development processes through such activities as community meetings and visioning efforts.

About Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society:

Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society strives to improve the quality of life of the people of the City of Camden and its surrounding communities by promoting affordable housing and neighborhood development. Through our initiatives, we encourage people to take charge of their lives and become active community members. To that end, Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society is regionally recognized as a leader in Camden’s revitalization. Our efforts, both in housing and neighborhood development have resulted in increased property values within a stable, mixed-income neighborhood. Strategic partnerships have helped us expand educational and employment opportunities, grow Camden’s housing market, improve public safety, strengthen commercial activity and raise the aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood. Visit www.sjcscamden.org for more information.

About Camden Special Services District (CSSD):

Camden Special Services District (CSSD) began providing Clean and Safe services in downtown Camden more than a decade ago. Since then the program has grown into a far-reaching improvement mechanism, creating and maintaining inviting public spaces in the downtown, waterfront, commercial and gateway corridors, parks and neighborhoods. Whether tasked with removing trash, clearing away graffiti or providing landscape maintenance, the CSSD helps keep the city bright, tidy and attractive. Noted-and nicknamed for- their yellow jackets, CSSD Ambassadors, all Camden residents, also offer hospitality and reliable customer service to those needing guidance or assistance. By forming effective partnerships with local government, key institution, businesses and stakeholders and providing first-rate services, the CSSD creates a safe and welcoming environment, which is critical to the city’s continued success.

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