CAMDEN, NJ — Camden County, among the South Jersey communities on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak, will benefit from the first wave of a $2 trillion emergency stimulus package passed by Congress last week.
In all, Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, and Ocean counties will receive $11 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Community Planning and Development.
So far, throughout the seven counties, there have been almost 2,000 positive COVID-19 cases and 34 deaths, with numbers expected to rise.
Of the $9.4 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) awarded in South Jersey, Camden County will receive $1.45 million.
The grants are meant to help communities fund infrastructure, economic development projects, public facilities' installation, community centers, housing rehabilitation, public services, clearance/acquisition, micro-enterprise assistance, code enforcement, and homeowner assistance.
“We are facing unprecedented times posed by the novel coronavirus pandemic, as every community in the state is right now, and I want to thank our New Jersey Congressional Delegation for their commitment and dedication to the towns and counties who are facing this monumental challenge head on to break the back of this virus,” said Camden County Freeholder Director Lou Cappelli.
“Camden County has been under a local emergency declaration for weeks now and we are incurring unforeseen costs that this allocation will address for us in the future. We will never give up on this effort until the COVID-19 crisis is over and the delegation is providing the funding to keep our fight going to combat this insidious virus," he said.
The county will benefit from $732,928 in Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) to help fund rental assistance, eviction prevention, and anti-homelessness programs.
The City of Camden will also receive $160,912 in Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) grants to assist low-income New Jerseyans living with HIV/AIDS.
"This federal funding is being made available at such a critical time for communities like Camden and others across the nation", said Camden Mayor Frank Moran. "it's going to aid struggling businesses, assist with capacity building and help communities lessen the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. I commend Senator Menendez, Senator Booker, and Congressman Norcross for advocating for this funding and for delivering essential relief at a time of need."
The federal funding, announced by U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, as well as Congressmen Donald Norcross (N.J.-01) and Andy Kim, includes the following resources:
- Most residents will benefit from direct payments up to $1,200 for individuals earning less than $75,000 and $2,400 for couples earning less than $150,000, plus $500 per child.
- Local small businesses can apply for forgivable loans of up to $10 million to make payroll and cover mortgage interest, rent and utilities.
- Frontline hospitals and health centers will benefit from millions coming to New Jersey to fund personal protective equipment, laboratory testing to detect positive cases, infection control and mitigation at the local level to prevent the spread of the virus, plus another $100 billion in available grants to shore up our health system.
- Nearly $1.8 billion for NJ Transit will support continuation of local bus, rail and light rail service.
- Local schools will share in the nearly $380 million being delivered to support K-12 education, help students and educators transition to online and remote learning, and provide emergency relief to districts and colleges the hardest hit by COVID-19.