EAST ORANGE/ORANGE, NJ - Well Fargo Bank recently announced a five million dollar initiative to attract first-time home buyers to cities in Essex County, including East Orange and Orange. The initiative promises to provide up to $20,000 in grant dollars for interested buyers looking to live in our towns.   

This announcement comes on the heels of an aggressive plan by both East Orange and Orange to make each city more attractive for young families. While much has been said about both towns regarding market rate development, not as much has been reported regarding the work the towns have done to create affordable units. 

Since his inauguration, Mayor Ted Green has worked diligently to make affordable “workforce” housing a reality for the many municipal workers in East Orange through the city’s First-Time Homebuyers Program. The same program is available for non-employees as well. This HUD funded program provides up to $25,000 in down payment and closing cost for eligible applicants. It is our understanding that if qualified, an applicant can apply to both programs for a total of $45,000. Interested families should contact the City of East Orange Division of Housing and Revitalization 973-266-5411.

Orange Mayor Dwayne Warren (see video) not only spoke of the local need for affordability but also the global nature of the problem faced by urban centers all over America. He pushed for financial education and assistance in getting families to understand the importance of saving. The Wells Fargo NeighborhoodLIFT homebuyer education and down payment assistance promises to do exactly that.