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Article Archives: New Jersey

New Jersey Tax Credits Revitalize Neighborhoods
The New Jersey Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program provides the opportunity for banks and nonprofits to invest in New Jersey's communities.

This state tax credit program is designed to promote revitalization of the distressed neighborhoods across the state. The program is administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, Division of Community Resources.

Participating banks receive a 100 percent state tax credit for each dollar invested in the revitalization of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in New Jersey. A bank can invest between $25,000 and $1 million a year for each project; the program encourages multiple-year commitments. The program is authorized to award up to $10 million annually.

The investment funds provided by banks are used by participating nonprofits for community development projects approved by the state community affairs department.

Projects may focus on affordable housing, economic development, workforce development, open space, social services, business assistance, and other activities that promote neighborhood revitalization. At least 60 percent of each project must support housing and economic development. To be eligible, a project must be located in an approved municipality.

To qualify for the program, a nonprofit organization must submit a comprehensive neighborhood plan to the state community affairs department for approval. Banks can either identify an approved nonprofit partner on their own or work with the department to be matched with a nonprofit whose projects have been approved by the department.

To find out more about the New Jersey Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program and the current list of eligible municipalities, visit the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Web site or call (609) 633-6273.
[Community Developments Investments, Fall 2010]

Hope for New Jersey Homeowners
New Jersey homeowners struggling to pay their mortgages and avoid foreclosure have a friend in the New Jersey Homeownership Preservation Effort. This nonprofit organization, a partnership of federal and state government agencies, other nonprofit organizations, and financial institutions, helps homeowners get the information and resources they need to maintain the American dream of homeownership. The partnership is designed to help consumers understand their mortgages and terms, find out how to resolve mortgage problems, get credit and loan counseling, and find help to avoid foreclosure. Participating lenders offer borrowers programs, including mortgage refinancing, closing cost assistance, credit counseling, and waiver of private mortgage insurance. The New Jersey Homeownership Preservation Effort also offers information on state foreclosure laws, information on buying a home and mortgage assistance, and other information in a resource called the Mayor's Combat Kit. 

For more information, contact the New Jersey Department of Banking at (800) 446-7467 or visit www.state.nj.us/dobi/njhope/index.html.
[Community Developments Newsletter, Fall 2009]

Foreclosure Assistance in New Jersey
HANDS Inc., a local New Jersey community development corporation, is taking a leadership role in reducing the community impact of foreclosures. HANDS (Housing & Neighborhood Development Services) is leading a task force in Essex County that is working to develop a new special-purpose entity, Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC).

CAPC is designed to preserve homes and prevent a decline in communities from foreclosures. It would address the blight caused by foreclosed, vacant properties. CAPC will identify communities affected by subprime mortgage foreclosures and negotiate with the lenders and servicers to purchase, at a discount, pools of the vacant and at-risk properties in the targeted area. The initial target is to acquire title to 1,000 to 1,500 properties. CAPC is expected to develop relationships with realtors, lenders, servicers and property management companies.

HANDS has also developed a pilot program called, "Time is the Enemy." With this program, the organization will partner with one lender at a time, which holds a number of foreclosed properties in a targeted area. HANDS will work with that lender to develop solutions to minimize the impact of the foreclosures on the neighborhoods. The community organization will purchase the mortgages from the lender, service the loans, and manage the properties, ensuring that the properties remain affordable.

For more information, visit the Web site.

New Funds for Affordable Housing in New Jersey

New affordable housing will be developed throughout New Jersey as a result of a partnership between two state agencies. In a joint effort, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and the Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency will award more than $54 million in affordable housing funds to local developers. The statewide Balanced Housing/Home Express program contributed $39 million, and $15 million will come from the federal LIHTC program. The award is expected to attract $136 million in investment capital. Through this effort, 12 communities across the state will receive support for the creation of 723 affordable rental housing units and the preservation of 339 units.

The New Jersey communities to receive the funding include Camden, Deptford, East Orange, Evesham, Franklin Township, Gloucester Township, Hoboken, Jersey City, Long Branch, Passaic, Plainfield, and Toms River. Both for-profit and nonprofit developers will participate in constructing or preserving housing in these areas.

For more information, visit New Jersey's Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency at http://www.state.nj.us/dca/hmfa/ or call (609) 278-7400. [Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Spring 2008]

New Venture Fund Emerges in New Jersey
A new venture fund, Garden State Life Sciences Venture Fund, was recently created in New Jersey to fund emerging life sciences companies in the state. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), a state agency, has entered into a 10-year limited partnership agreement with Quaker BioVentures, a life sciences venture capital fund serving the Mid-Atlantic region, to create and manage the new $10 million fund. The initial funding will be leveraged for an additional $30 million to be used in New Jersey. An integral part of the state's overall economic development strategy, the venture fund is intended to complement the many other technology investment programs offered by NJEDA.

For more information, visit www.njeda.com or call NJEDA at (609) 292-1800.
[Published in News from the Districts, Community Developments, Summer 2005]