Newark puts out call for equitable growth housing initiative

RFQ seeks contractors, developers, nonprofits

Jessica Perry//March 27, 2023

Newark puts out call for equitable growth housing initiative

RFQ seeks contractors, developers, nonprofits

Jessica Perry//March 27, 2023

In a response to reports from the Rutgers Center of Law, Inequality and Metropolitan Equity and the NJ Institute for Social Justice documenting the inequality between white and Black/brown families in New Jersey, the City of Newark is launching a new initiative to bridge that gap.

The “Equitable Investment in Newark Communities” program will help to increase affordability and build wealth by creating or renovating multifamily buildings and homes that residents can own, expanding opportunities for Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprise developers and contractors, and provide jobs and job training for local residents, according to a March 20 announcement from the city.

To achieve those goals, Newark issued a Request for Qualifications to enlist contractors, developers and nonprofits to participate in the initiative.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

“This initiative is an opportunity … to participate in building an equitable future for Newark,” Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement. “It is an important step toward creating more affordable housing, increasing homeownership, reducing the wealth gap, providing training and jobs for Newark residents, and expanding opportunities for MWBE businesses.”

According to the reports, both published in 2022, homeownership – the major path for families to build wealth – is being eroded in Newark by the widespread purchase of residential properties by corporate buyers.

According to the announcement, Equitable Investments in Newark Communities will use properties acquired from the city, the Newark Landbank, or private owners. The program aims to build or renovate affordable housing units and sell homes to residents at affordable prices with low interest mortgages.

The RFQ will pre-qualify general contractors and developers for construction and rehabilitation work, including the construction of new housing, rehabbing distressed properties and participating in home repair projects.

How to apply

The deadline to apply for the RFQ is May 1.

Individuals and organizations either from the nonprofit or for-profit sector that have the experience, financial resources and capacity to acquire, construct, rehabilitate and maintain housing projects, the city said, can apply.

If interested individuals do not have the required qualifications, they may form joint ventures. Additionally, the city said it encourages collaboration between experienced organizations and small, local minority/women-owned enterprises—in particular, small, local contractors, subcontractors and developers, and nonprofit community development organizations.

On March 29, a pre-submission question and answer session will take place at 11 a.m. at City Hall in Room B-29, located in the lower-level rotunda at 920 Broad St. in Newark.

Interested parties can apply for the RFQ here.

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