Home & Garden

Livingston Officials and Habitat for Humanity Celebrate Groundbreaking of Two Homes


LIVINGSTON, NJ Livingston is one step closer to providing two new affordable homes after the mayor and council joined with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark on Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new project at 11 Grand Terrace, which is currently an empty lot, but will soon be transformed into a 1500-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bathroom colonial-style home for a family in need. A second home of similar style will be constructed at 24 Burnet Street. 

Mayor Ed Meinhardt said that the township’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity is the beginning of a new future to provide workforce housing within the township and to inspire a certain level of commitment and volunteerism among the members of the community. According to Meinhardt, the township awarded a total of $582,000 to Habitat for Humanity for these two projects, which included $360,000 to purchase the town-owned parcels, $200,000 toward the construction of the two homes and an additional $25,000 for the replacement trees removed from the property. Habitat for Humanity will also rely on donations, grants and volunteers to complete the project.

“It should be noted that this money did not come from one penny of taxpayer dollars,” said Meinhardt. “It came from the affordable housing trust fund, which by state law requires developers in this town to contribute. We are proud and honored to have [Habitat]. We know all the good will that comes with it, we know all the great volunteerism that comes with this as well, we know that the community will come and help and volunteer and it really just brings the town together.”

Sign Up for E-News

Jeffrey Farrell, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newark, was on hand at the Grand Terrace location on Monday to thank the township for “putting this together and the opportunity to build affordable (or ‘workforce’) housing in Livingston.”

Farrell explained that the Greater Newark chapter of Habitat for Humanity works in communities throughout Essex, Hudson and Union counties, but these are the non-profit’s first homes in Livingston and that Habitat looks forward to partnering with Livingston and other suburban communities who have affordable housing obligations and wish to provide affordable homeownership opportunity within their communities. 

“We’ve worked in many, many towns in Essex County, and it is very refreshing and inspiring to have such great professional members of the township council and the city to support a project like this and help guide the process,” said Farrell. “This is not so much Habitat coming in as much as it is Habitat partnering with the Township of Livingston.”

In thanking the township, Farrell said that he has worked with three Livingston mayors in the process of bringing this dream to fruition. Thanks to the input of not only Meinhardt, but also Al Anthony and Shawn Klein, the house will now feature an open front porch and attached garage and will also be built to meet “silver guidelines” to make it Energy Star efficient to provide the family with the latest technologies for HVAC and more.

Farrell added that a project like this not only helps a family in need of a home, but also provides the community at large with an opportunity to get involved in the process. He said volunteers from the Livingston High School Habitat for Humanity campus chapter, faith-based organizations, boy and girl scouts, members of the Livingston Township Council and more have already committed to helping build the new home and that he is looking forward to recruiting more.

During the groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz of Temple B’nai Abraham recited a blessing and opening prayer, stating that Habitat for Humanity has been close to her heart since her high school classmate, an avid Habitat for Humanity volunteer, was murdered on 9/11. She has since volunteered with Jeff Gardner’s family in his memory, building homes in Newark and surrounding towns. Gardner’s brother and sister, Eric and Amy, look forward to volunteering on the Livingston projects in Jeff’s memory, she said.

“For many, a home of one’s own is a dream unrealized, but with determination, dedication, commitment and faith, this dream is going to reach fruition for new residents in the coming year,” said Dantowitz. “Habitat for Humanity is an incredible organization dedicated to helping people build and live in homes of their own. I’m honored to stand here tonight as a clergy member of the Township of Livingston and I’m so proud of the township’s efforts to help this dream become a reality.”

Farrell announced that both homes should be completed by the end of the year, and that “Partner Families” will provide 200 hours of “sweat equity” to build their very own homes.

“The Partner Family selection process will begin in June and the homes will be sold to pre-qualified low-income families,” said Livingston Township Planning and Land Use Administrator Jackie Coombs-Hollis, who added that applicants for the homes must reside in Essex, Morris, Union or Warren counties.

Hollis said volunteers are being sought to construct the homes over the summer and fall. It is the ideal project for local businesses, faith-based organizations, community groups and individuals, she said.

“We are tremendously proud of our Partner Families,” said Farrell. “The Habitat for Humanity program, with the extensive requirement of sweat equity, attracts proud prospective home owners who are eager to be part of the community and help it thrive.”

To become a Partner Family, to volunteer or to donate, visit www.HabitatNewark.org.

Don’t miss important news in your town. Click HERE to subscribe for free, or follow us on Facebook and on Twitter at @LivingstonTAP.

Download the FREE TAPinto App: Click here for Android or Click here for iOS.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Save $2.50 on Next Visit to Livingston Car Wash

July 17, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Drivers can save $2.50 the next time they get their vehicle cleaned at Livingston Car Wash.

Come to Livingston Car Wash at 111 E. Mt. Pleasant Avenue for a car wash and $2.50 will be discounted from the regular price.

$100 OFF per Week for Summer Camp Now!

Guerrero Marital Arts is now offering an 8-week summer camp for summer 2018!

Pick which weeks you want!

Camp Weeks are:

July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 13, August 20, August 27

Includes the following:

Fun (through Sports, Play and Games)
Field Trips (may cost extra)
Life Lessons
Reading Time
Martial Arts
A great place to ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, July 21, 12:30 PM

CycleBar Livingston, Livingston

Bike for the Bean

Giving Back Health & Wellness


Sat, July 21, 7:30 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, SHORT HILLS

Solid Gold with Bobby Valli at Par 440

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Man Stabbed in Valley Section of West Orange

July 18, 2018

WEST ORANGE – A West Orange man was stabbed Sunday evening during an attack in The Valley section of the township, according to officials.

Police were called the 300 block of Valley Road around 5:45 p.m. on a report of an aggravated assault. The 28-year-old victim was stabbed during an attack by a group of individuals who later fled the scene, according to township spokeswoman Susan ...

Public Invited to Essex County Opioid Use Prevention Task Force Meeting

July 15, 2018

CALDWELL, NJ — All Essex County residents, mayors and councils, law enforcement members, school officials, clergy members, civic organizations and more are invited to join in the next Essex County Opioid Use Prevention Task Force meeting on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to discuss how the Essex County communities can join work together to eradicate this epidemic.

The meeting will be held at the ...

Would Shedding

How much wood wouldn’t a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck woodn’t?


Enough already.  


I get it.  It is an easy mistake to make, misusing would and wouldn’t.  It happens to me all the time.


“Honey, when I said I didn’t see any reason why I would go to the ballet, I meant to say I couldn’t see ...

Extra Time

It was close to 70 minutes into the match and I had to go to the bathroom.  Badly.

As fans watching the World Cup know too well, bathroom breaks are a serious dilemma, especially for those who don’t have a TV in the loo.  This biological necessity is exasperated by beer, which during World Cup matches also fuels a strong propensity to throw chairs and instigate riots.

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...