Newark CDFI Coalition

Expanding Access to Capital

The Urban League has always worked be a powerful ally and advocate for the individuals, families and communities that we serve. As Newark develops, it is critical that the development priorities of Newark’s residential neighborhoods are not overlooked. We are working with residents in neighborhoods across Newark to develop and implement resident driven plans to improve their communities.

Over the past year, five organizations have been working to develop a better way to collaborate and implement a strategy to increase access to capital in the South Ward and the West Wards of Newark.  The group, co-led by the Urban League and Greater Newark LISC, also includes New Community Federal Credit Union, Greater Newark Enterprises Corp, and New Jersey Community Capital.  By combining the capabilities of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) in Newark, the Coalition addresses several areas essential to equitable development – increasing access to opportunity for residents and small business owners, increasing resident incomes, supporting resident ownership of housing, supporting resident ownership of businesses and ensuring long-term housing security.

Equitable Development Plan for the Fairmount and Clinton Hill Neighborhoods

The Newark CDFI Coalition Equitable Development Plan synthesizes City level policy recommendations and the neighborhood level impacts desired by residents as captured in the resident informed Fairmount and Clinton neighborhood plans. The Newark CDFI Coalition was able to integrate City and Neighborhood Plans to develop a strategic investment matrix for these neighborhoods.

 

The Newark CDFI Coalition Equitable Development Plan is comprised of four components: Organizing Summary, CLiME -Newark Equitable Development Plan, Fairmount Neighborhood Plans, and Clinton Hill Neighborhood Plans:

 

I. Organizing Summary:

https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/O3dOLmK0sB

II. Newark Equitable Development Plan

In 2017 the City of Newark engaged with Rutgers Center on Law, Inequality and Metropolitan Equity (CLiME) to develop an equitable development plan for the City. The plan was undertaken in direct response to the increased development activities in downtown and the real concerns of resident displacement in the city. 

https://clime.newark.rutgers.edu/publications/report/recommendations-city-newark

III. Fairmount Neighborhood Plans

 

In 2008, The League realized that to catalyze long term positive change in its "home" neighborhood of Fairmount Heights, there needed to be a network of people and resources dedicated to advocating for and acting as champions for the best interests of the community.  

In that same year, it founded the Fairmount Heights Neighborhood Association (FHNA) to fulfill that role.  For the next year, FHNA's founding board members engaged in education and training to further develop their leadership capacity and knowledge of strategic community organizing.   

2010, with FHNA as its outreach partner, ULEC led a two-year, community-wide initiative to create a strategic neighborhood revitalization plan. The completed plan was supported by The League working with funders to secure resources to move its strategic neighborhood plan from aspiration to reality. The plans have had numerous updates. 

Please click to the links below to view the Fairmount Plan and Updates:

Fairmount Strategic Plan (2012):  https://www.hightail.com/download/bWJyZXQ1bWc0b0M5TE5Vag

Fairmount Investment Prospectus (2017): https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/erK95ugQZa

 

IV. Clinton Hill Plan https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/9qkqcZ54IB 

Greater Newark LISC is partnering with the Victoria Foundation, a private foundation that concentrates its grant making in the city of Newark through the Thriving Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI). Thriving Neighborhoods Initiative is a multi -year comprehensive community capacity initiative that aims; 1) empower local residents with information data, training and experience that will enable them to more effectively advocate on behalf of themselves and their communities; and 2) support the implementation of locally-driven community improvement projects that will enhance the neighborhood in a meaningful way; and 3) build the capacity of local community based organizations to help implement a multi-year, resident-driven initiative. The Initiative is currently being piloted in two neighborhoods in the City of Newark: Fairmount and Clinton Hill.

Given that the last formal community plan in Clinton Hill was in 2006, Greater Newark LISC (GNL) spearheaded a recent exercise to update community priorities. Through its Clinton Hill Conversations series, GNL utilized a variety of outreach methods including porch parties, focus groups, surveys, community meetings and asset mapping to ensure residents are directly informing and participating in neighborhood-building efforts.  These engagement efforts reinforced the investment priorities to be addressed through the Newark CDFI Coalition.

 

Clinton Hill Community Conversations: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/9qkqcZ54IB

 

We welcome your input and participation.  Please email vfraser@ulec.org to become engaged with our work. 

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