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Newark Wins Biden-Harris $4 Million Federal Grant to Enhance Affordable Housing Efforts


By: Richard L. Smith 

Newark has been selected as one of only 21 communities out of 175 applicants to receive a significant grant under the Biden-Harris administration's new Pathways to Removing Obstacles to Housing (PRO Housing) program.AdThe Honorable Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced today that the city would receive $4 million to bolster its efforts in making housing more accessible and affordable.

According to city officials, Newark will utilize the PRO Housing grant to accelerate the implementation of its updated local land-use regulations (NZLUR).

These regulations are designed to significantly increase the speed of affordable housing production, addressing urgent needs in one of the least affordable regions of the country.

"Creating affordable rentals and putting homeownership within the reach of residents is a top priority in Newark," stated Mayor Baraka. "This grant from the Biden-Harris Administration reflects a crucial shift in federal focus towards the critical housing needs in our city and across the nation."

In addition to revising land-use policies, the grant will expand the Live Newark program, which offers forgivable down payment loans to first-time homebuyers and funding for home repairs.

The funding will also support the Equitable Investments in Newark Communities (EINC) Program, which promotes the development or rehabilitation of homes while providing more opportunities for minority and women-owned business enterprise developers and contractors.

Vice President Kamala Harris commented on the national initiative, stating, "President Biden and I believe that every American deserves affordable housing.

Today's $85 million investment across more than 20 communities is a critical step towards removing barriers to more affordable housing, helping to lower rental costs and assisting more Americans in becoming homeowners."

Deputy Mayor and Director of the Newark Department of Economic and Housing Development, Allison Ladd, highlighted the broader impact of Newark's strategy.Ad"Mayor Baraka’s equitable growth strategy is not only making a significant difference in Newark but also serves as a model for reimagining urban development across the country," she said.

Newark's comprehensive housing affordability strategies include the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, $1 home sales program, Live Newark forgivable loans, use of Section 8 vouchers for homeownership, and a $30 million dedicated affordable housing fund.

These initiatives are part of the city's ongoing efforts to ensure that all Newark residents have access to safe, affordable housing.