MONROE TOWNSHIP, NJ – The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) and 300 supporters celebrated its 30th Anniversary at a luncheon on Wednesday, with community developers, housing advocates, service providers, elected officials, and corporate partners.  Since 1989, the organization has served NJ’s community development sector, providing technical assistance and advocacy for public policy to create affordable, thriving communities.

“For the last three decades, our Network has worked to ensure that New Jersey’s residents have safe, affordable homes in thriving communities of their choice,” said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network. “The Network’s longevity is a testament to the success and strength of its members and NJ’s community development sector. Our sector contributes $500 million every year to New Jersey’s economy. We are so proud to contribute through our advocacy, training, technical assistance and professional development services.”

Over the course of 30 years, the Network has led efforts on behalf of its membership for policies at all levels of government that would move community development forward and foster the creation of healthy communities and affordable homes. A few of the Network’s greatest achievements include the creation of the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit program, the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act, and passage of A500, NJ’s most comprehensive housing reform law in 25 years, and becoming a certified, funding HUD Housing Counseling Intermediary. Most recently, as a result of the Network’s advocacy efforts, Governor Phil Murphy has declared that he will end the practice of diverting housing trust fund dollars and leave those funds for housing as intended.

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“It's important to speak with one voice to build thriving, healthy, affordable communities in our state,” said Leslie Stivale, chief executive officer of Triple C Housing and vice chair of the Network’s Board of directors. “Developers like us need someone in Trenton and Washington taking policy positions and fighting for us, for the work we do, and the communities we serve. The Network does an outstanding job keeping us informed while being our voice and sharing our views with lawmakers.”

The Network honored several distinguished guests for their leadership and impact on the housing and community development sector. Honorees include: Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (LD-27); Michellene Davis, Esq., executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer, RWJBarnabas Health; Wayne Meyer, president, New Jersey Community Capital; M&T Bank, and The Fund for New Jersey; Joseph Della Fave, executive director, Ironbound Community Capital; and Barbara Dunn, executive director, Paterson Habitat for Humanity. Both Mr. Della Fave and Ms. Dunn have served on the Network’s Board of Directors and received special recognition for career achievement during the event. The Rising Leader Award was presented to Carmen Gandulla, director of community development for the City of Jersey City, a participant of the Network’s Rising Leaders Mentor Program.

Held at the Forsgate Country Club in Monroe Township, the event was sponsored by premiere sponsor M&T Bank as well as TD Bank, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo, Valley National Bank, Santander, Bank of America, Region Nine Housing Corporation, The Fund for New Jersey, PSE&G, BNY Mellon, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, New Jersey Community Capital, PNC Bank, Citi Bank, and Paterson Habitat for Humanity.

About the Housing and Community Development Network of NJ
The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey is the statewide association of more than 250 community development corporations, individuals and other organizations that support the creation of affordable homes, economic opportunities, and strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit www.hcdnnj.org.

Photo Caption:
Pictured from left to right: Alle Ries, regional community reinvestment Act officer, M&T Bank; Barbara Dunn, executive director, Paterson Habitat for Humanity; Kiki Jamieson, president, Fund for New Jersey; Joseph Della Fave, executive director, Ironbound Community Corporation; Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer, the Network; Michellene Davis, Esq., executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer, RWJBarnabas Health;  Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (LD-27); Carmen Gandulla, director of community development, City of Jersey City.