MEDIA CONTACTS:     Cheryl McCants,, 646-873-2377 (c); Erich Timmermann,, 212-622-4080 (o)

Newark’s Model Neighborhood Initiative Houses Homeless Family

The city of Newark, NJ, JPMorgan Chase and NJ Community Capital team up with local contractors to renovate abandoned and foreclosed homes

November 11, 2015 — Newark, N.J. — As part of a $1 million grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), Newark’s Economic & Housing Development (EHD) department is working with the foundation and NJCC to create jobs, opportunities and housing for Newark residents. Under the direction of Deputy Mayor Adofo-Wilson, EHD is reducing the city’s abandoned and foreclosed property logs by renovating homes and housing residents. The Williams family is the first beneficiary of this private/public partnership, moving from a shelter on South Orange Avenue to their own rental home on Seymour Avenue as part of the city’s Model Neighborhood Initiative to rebuild Newark’s communities.

Shkira and Anthony Williams, along with their four children, ages eight to 18, are enthralled to be living in their own home. They began renting the home in July of this year.

Shkira stated.  “With all that we had been through I didn’t think that anyone would help us, but they did. Landlords usually shy away from families that come from shelters making it hard to find a place to live. So, it was a miracle to get a home that we could rent right here in our own neighborhood. I am really ecstatic about it and I just want to thank Mayor Baraka, NJ Community and all of the people who helped get us off the streets.”

“Newark is experiencing an integrated transformation where all of our projects converge for the betterment of our residents and business owners,” said Newark’s Deputy Mayor for Economic & Housing Development, Baye Adofo-Wilson.  “We have partnerships with institutions like JPMorgan Chase that make it possible for us to renovate abandoned and foreclosed properties and then we work with organizations like NJ Community Capital to identify local contractors to renovate these properties that Newark residents can then call home while being employed by Newark businesses like Shoprite.  It is a development cycle that beautifies our city, employs our residents, builds up our businesses and improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods.

Supporting the communities where we live and work is core to the way we do business at JPMorgan Chase,” said Dave Walsh, senior vice president of community development banking from JPMorgan Chase & Co. “Access to affordable housing is vital to economic stability in Newark. We are proud to support Mayor Baraka, the City of Newark, and New Jersey Community Capital in their critical work to bolster the stock of quality affordable housing options and revitalize key neighborhoods in Newark.”

The partnership between the city and JPMorgan Chase is in its infancy as there are another half-dozen residential properties in the pipeline for future renovation as part of Mayor Baraka’s award winning Model Neighborhood Initiative (MNI). Baraka’s MNI economic development strategy for the southern and western parts of the city was launched late last year. Beautification projects, including murals along Clinton Avenue and city park improvements are also part of the MNI project.


To speak with the Williams family directly or to secure photos or videos of their home, please contact Cheryl McCants at or 646-872-2377.

The mission of Newark N.J.’s department of Economic and Housing Development is to create economic opportunity for Newark residents and enhance the vibrancy of our city. To this end, the department seeks to position Newark to take advantage of its unique assets, including its strategic location, a diverse and underutilized workforce, a large amount of developable land, concentration of corporate and business service firms, several major universities, and a wealth of arts and cultural assets.

JPMorgan Chase Community Development Banking invested and loaned nearly $720 billion nationally through the first eight years of their 10-year pledge to invest $800 billion in low- and moderate-income communities and small businesses in the U.S. They have committed to making $90 billion in loans to assist small businesses and community-based not-for-profit organizations and $35 billion for community development loans and investments—including $1 billion for Community Development Financial Institutions—over 10 years.

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