NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A long-range and sweeping vision for a 57-block portion of city that was unveiled this morning would include training residents to become entrepreneurs and providing help for residents to become homeowners.

New Brunswick Tomorrow's Esperanza Neighborhood Plan, a draft of which was released on its website, also includes goals such as improving and activating neighborhood parks, collaborating with police on crime prevention and incentivizing businesses to create and preserve good jobs.

New Brunswick Tomorrow, a non-profit agency, created the 10-year plan after a process that included 11 community meetings, a door-to-door neighborhood perception survey, a shopper intercept survey along the French Street corridor, focus groups with public officials and stakeholder groups, and an analysis of demographic, statistical and economic factors.

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More than 800 people participated in the Esperanza Neighborhood Plan creation, according to New Brunswick Tomorrow.

During the new plan’s public review period, NBT will post digital copies of the complete draft plan and a Spanish-language summary on its website (www.nbtomorrow.org/newsroom).

Additionally, NBT will post links on its social media pages, and will distribute the draft via email to residents who provided an email address during the planning process.

Physical copies of the draft plan, as well as Spanish-language summaries, are available for review during normal operating hours at Puerto Rican Action Boards' central office at 90 Jersey Ave. and the New Brunswick Free Public Library at 60 Livingston Ave. 

Residents are encouraged to share any comments or questions by calling 732-484-8511 or e-mailing cbergman@nbtomorrow.org.

Comments will be accepted until July 10.

Much of the plan focuses on housing.

In order to convert renters into homeowners, the plan calls for a series of homeowner workshops, pre-homeowner counseling sessions and the creation of down payment assistance program to low- and moderate-income neighborhood families purchasing a home in the neighborhood.

The plan always focuses on families that rent, since New Brunswick Tomorrow's research revealed that about 77% of the almost 12,000 people in the Esperanza area rent.

The neighborhood plan calls for creating affordable rental units and working with the city and New Jersey Community Capital, a nonprofit community development financial institution that provides innovative financing and technical assistance to underserved communities in the state, to land bank neighborhood properties for higher-density affordable rental housing development.