Network Celebrates a Quarter of a Century Serving NJ’s Communities
(L to R) Paige Carlson-Heim, Denise McGregor Armbrister, Mimi Box, Martin Johnson, Donna Blaze, Staci Berger, Adam Gordon, Barbara George Johnson, and Mike McNeil
On October 16, 2014, the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) hosted a dinner for over 200 community developers, housing advocates, service providers, elected officials, and corporate investors to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Founded in 1989, the Network is a statewide nonprofit association providing policy and advocacy and technical assistance and training for its members in the community development sector.
“The most important lesson we’ve learned over 25 years is that every New Jersey resident wants a safe home they can afford in a great community. Everyone celebrating this milestone with us has gone through great lengths to make this a reality for thousands of New Jerseyans.”
Said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Network.
“The Network has created an environment that allows groups such as Monarch to develop homes for the homeless and people with disabilities. Each time we build a home we transform lives. Without the network and its staff we could not have succeeded over the last 24 years.”
Said Richard W. Brown, Monarch Housing’s CEO.
The Network honored several distinguished guests for their leadership and impact on the housing and community development sector. Receiving recognition included:
Urban Mayors Association led by Barbara George Johnson, executive director of the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy and the Honorable Wilda Diaz, president of the Urban Mayors Association and mayor of the City of Perth Amboy;
Over the course of 25 years, the Network has led efforts on behalf of its membership to advocate for policies within all levels of government that would move community development forward and foster the creation of affordable homes. A few of the Network’s greatest policy 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.
The Network was also at the forefront after Superstorm Sandy, coordinating policy responses to help guide recovery efforts with a focus on increased access to resources, and ensuring that lower income residents have fair access to opportunities created for those effected by the storm.
“This organization has done tremendous work over its lifetime but I believe it is efforts around Superstorm Sandy has had a widespread effect on New Jersey residents and laid a foundation for recovery around future disasters.”