City of Trenton and East Trenton Collaborative Win HCDMMJ Award for Joint Redevelopment Efforts

October 17, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Mayor W. Reed Gusciora today announced that the Housing & Community Development Network of New Jersey (HCDNNJ) awarded the City of Trenton and East Trenton Collaborative (ETC) the “Outstanding Municipal Partner – Redevelopment” award at the HCDMMJ annual conference.

HCDNNJ is comprised of more than 250 non-profit, community development, and private sector organizations that support the creation of economic opportunities for low and moderate-income community residents. ETC is operated by N.J. Community Capital for the purposes of community organizing and development.

As part of the award, HCDNNJ recognized Trenton’s social and economic revitalization efforts, including the redevelopment of multiple city-owned abandoned homes and mixed-use buildings, the rebuilding and reopening of Hetzel Pool, the renovation of the historic East Trenton Library, the repaving of roads, the installation of decorative crosswalks and speed humps, and the clean-up of several major brownfields sites.

“This award reflects the discipline, determination, and dedication of our community and our collaboration,” said Evelyn Hawthorne, a community leader with ETC and UrbanPromise Trenton.

“The City has always valued its partnership with East Trenton Collaborative in planning and implementing neighborhood redevelopment and revitalization efforts,” said Mayor Gusciora. “We look forward to continued improvements to housing and other services that will better serve our residents and transform North Trenton in the coming years.”

“Ever since the East Trenton Library closed down in 2015, I’m proud to have worked tirelessly with ETC to help secure funding to get the site up and running again,” said Councilwoman Marge Caldwell-Wilson.

In 2015, ETC updated their “East Trenton Vision Plan,” which key stakeholders initially drafted in 2009. The plan received support from the N.J. Department of Community Affairs under the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program (NRTC), which provides businesses with a 100 percent tax credit for funds provided to nonprofit entities carrying out comprehensive revitalization plans.

“This award demonstrates that residents and the city can work to bring long overdue changes,” said Councilman Jerell Blakely. “I am proud to support these efforts.”

“I have found that working with this Mayor and administration have led to drastic changes in the City of Trenton,” said Faith Ann Pierson, a Trenton resident who serves on three of ETC’s Community Organizing Committees. “From speed limit signs to new crosswalk markings to new asphalt in our alleys, it has been a pleasure to be a part of ETC’s community organizing work with the City of Trenton.”

Department of Public Works Director Wahab Onitiri accepted the award on behalf of the City.

“Director Onitiri has joined me on regular town halls and walking tours of neighborhoods with ETC,” said Mayor Gusciora. “This award is reflective of his leadership and the efforts of our employees in the Department of Public Works to revitalize neighborhoods in the Capital City.”

From January 2018 to October 2020, the Department of Public Works cleaned over 946 public and private properties, cleared 1,038 alleyways, and paved 55 streets, which make up about 15.4 miles of roads throughout the city.