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State Awards Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Grants in Essex County to HANDS, Inc.

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ORANGE, NJ – New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Charles A. Richman announced $1.5 million in grant awards through the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program to HANDS, Inc. located in Orange.  The NRTC program is administered by the Division of Housing and Community Resources and allocates corporate funding for implementing neighborhood revitalization plans to community-based nonprofit groups. 

Corporations that fund the program receive a 100 percent tax credit against various state taxes for their investments in revitalizing low-and moderate-income neighborhoods in eligible cities. Funds were contributed by CURE Insurance, NJM Insurance, PSE&G, Solix, NJ PURE Insurance, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Valley National Bank and Wyndham Worldwide.

HANDS, Inc. was awarded two $750,000 grants for the Heart of Orange and Valley neighborhoods. The first grant, awarded for the Heart of Orange neighborhood, will be used to acquire, rehabilitate and fit-out a vacant deteriorated commercial building into the Heart of Orange Job Training Center, which will house a construction rehab and job training center for youth. The second grant will provide funds to develop the Valley Gateway Center, a new building that will offer affordable arts-related commercial space.  Community programming for both initiatives will also be supported by the grants.

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Other communities that have benefited from the NRTC program this year include, Salem, Paterson, Jersey City, Camden, Trenton, Elizabeth and New Brunswick.

HANDS, Inc. is a nonprofit organization, founded in 1986 to ensure that the neighborhoods in and around Orange, NJ remain good places to raise a family by revitalizing neighborhoods through the high-impact development of vacant, troubled properties. HANDS’ prime mission is to protect the stability and vitality of residential neighborhoods, which is essential to family and community life. An approved NRTC plan for the Heart of Orange neighborhood has been in place since 2010 and for the Valley neighborhood, since 2004. Additional information on HANDS, Inc. can be found at www.handsinc.org.

NRTC funds must be used by their recipients in accordance with the following requirements:  at least 60 percent for housing and/or economic development activities (including construction and rehabilitation of housing units, creation of commercial facilities, assistance to small businesses, employment training and child care provision); and the remainder (not exceeding 40 percent) for supportive services and other activities that are complementary to neighborhood revitalization (including infrastructure and open space improvements, providing social and community services, recreation activities, crime prevention activities and community outreach activities).

The Division of Housing and Community Resources strengthens and revitalizes communities through the delivery of affordable housing, supportive services and the provision of financial and technical assistance to communities, local government and community based organizations. For more information on the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program, visit, http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/nrtc.html.

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