The Newark Land Bank program will be a powerful tool to improve the quality of life for Newark residents
March 2, 2021
Invest Newark founded Newark Land Bank, an initiative by Mayor Ras J. Baraka to improve the quality of life for Newark residents. Land Bank will lead the way to begin Newark’s post-COVID economic recovery by strengthening home ownership and creating affordable and marketable housing. By increasing the capacity of M / F / DBE developers or subcontractors, the program creates integrative investment opportunities for local entrepreneurs as an economic recreational path. You can find video and photo assets here.
“Today we made history when the city of Newark opened the state of New Jersey’s first land bank! Our city’s new land bank initiative will help make one of America’s greatest dreams come true for our residents – home ownership in the form of affordable, off-the-shelf housing. The city as a whole will benefit from the jobs created by the construction and development on these sites, the tax breaks and the conversion of vacant lots, abandoned buildings and devastated areas into empowered neighborhoods and communities, ”said Mayor Ras J. Baraka, city of Newark. “This was a huge win for our city and an important part of my administration’s overall Newark Forward strategy.”
“We are thrilled to officially launch Newark Land Bank and provide the community with expanded access and the ability to own their own land,” said Bernel Hall, President and CEO of Invest Newark. “This program is a powerful community wealth creation tool that allows Newark residents to invest in their neighborhoods while investing in themselves. Equitable access to real estate is a critical step in building an inclusive and equitable community, and we pride ourselves on continuing to offer such opportunities to our residents. “
“As the main sponsor of land banking legislation, I am pleased that the program is moving from politics to real progress,” said Senator M. Teresa Ruiz. “It is an honor to work on behalf of our families in Newark City and to work with Mayor Baraka to create an endeavor that will be vital to our neighborhoods. From vacant lots to first-time home purchases, there are plenty of opportunities here that will undoubtedly elevate our communities and help revitalize our city. “
“The land banking law became law in large part because of the tremendous and sustained advocacy of Mayor Ras Baraka using this tool to turn Newark’s abandoned, vacant and ruined properties into safe, affordable homes and retail space,” the MP said Mila M. Jasey. “This development will generate much-needed tax revenue, which means more community services and an improved quality of life for all Brick City residents. The possibilities of a Newark Reimagined are limitless, and I am honored to have played a role in creating this mechanism for sustainable, long-term change. “
“The land bank will be an important asset for the City of Newark in its post-COVID economic recovery efforts and help transform the lives of residents who need an affordable place to call home,” said Staci Berger, President and CEO. Housing and Community Development Network from NJ. “Under the leadership of Mayor Baraka, the city has paved the way for other locations in the state to struggle with vacant and abandoned properties. There are several places across the country that use land banks with great success. We are confident that Newark will be NJ’s own success story. “
The program has already proven itself. Within three weeks of its launch in late January, Land Bank’s website had over 900 registered users and more than 80,000 API (Application Program Interface) hits.
Not only will Land Bank provide opportunities for Newark residents to start their own businesses, but the program has already shown that it is committed to supporting the city’s job market through its partners. Invest Newark has signed a contract with Karima Jackson of Exquisite Property Services, a Newark-based minority and women’s business (MWBE), to service and manage property preparation. Not only did this company play a pivotal role in establishing the land bank, but through this partnership, Invest Newark was able to support the local economy through the pandemic.
Interested parties can create profiles on the Land Bank website to review available properties, register to receive notifications, and apply directly for properties. Users can also access tutorial training videos, learn more about specific programs, and find information on guidelines and additional resources. Land Bank also offers a Resident Advantage to allow Newark residents to apply for first time home ownership.
The launch was celebrated at 93 3rd Street, one of the first properties made available on the site. The Newark Land Bank properties will be open for filing at 8:00 p.m. today following the community meeting tonight. Register here for the Newark Land Bank Community Virtual Meeting at 6:30 p.m.
The Landbank will provide key programs for users to access and request real estate. These programs include:
- Section 8 Homeownership, where qualified Section 8 recipients can use their vouchers and Down Payment Assistance to purchase single family homes. These properties are being redeveloped by local MWDBE contractors. Before and after the sale, buyers receive certified HUD home ownership advice from our local nonprofit partners.
- Community Partners – Newark Land Bank believes that partnerships with nonprofits, community development organizations, corporations and religious groups in Newark are essential. The program welcomes the opportunity to collaborate on projects that can advance the city’s plans, goals, and initiatives for building sustainable neighborhoods, deliver effective all-round services, and use landbank real estate for new affordable housing, urban horticulture, and green space projects. Further information on applying as a community partner can be found here.
- Buyback – Allows responsible tenants to stay in their homes if the landlord experiences foreclosure.
- Property Donations – Newark Land Bank welcomes donations from unwanted homes or vacant land for reuse or resale in certain circumstances. Donated properties must have a clear and marketable title and must not have delinquent taxes or violations of the Open Code.
Buying real estate
Newark Land Bank’s inventory of available real estate is constantly changing. Those interested can keep up to date on newly available properties by registering for an account with Newark Land Bank here. All real estate disposition decisions, including the selection of the excellent applicants, are published on the website.
Any qualified individual, family, partnership, nonprofit organization, or corporation can acquire and develop real estate in accordance with specific program requirements and disposition guidelines. Primarily, properties are sold through online purchase applications and tenders. However, Newark Land Bank also engages in development planning and related disposals with thoroughly screened homebuyers, property developers, and nonprofit partners to achieve city and neighborhood goals.
As a minimum, Newark Land Bank requires the purchaser to provide basic personal or business information, a viable development plan for the property of interest that requires redevelopment, and proof of financing for the purchase or proposed development. In addition, a processing fee is required for all applications. Program applications and tenders contain specific requirements such as registration fees, restrictions for first-time buyers, or income restrictions for the buyer.
Newark Land Bank Background
Newark Land Bank is a division of Invest Newark, a New Jersey not-for-profit company. Newark Land Bank was established by the state of New Jersey to enable Legislation PL 2019, c 159 and City Ordinance 6PSF-g of the City of Newark, passed on October 16, 2019. Newark Land Bank works with community groups and responsible developers to strategically acquire, maintain, and use vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed properties, and efficiently bring them back to productive use.
In particular, Newark Land Bank was formed to strengthen home ownership, reduce pollution, create affordable and marketable housing, increase the capacity of M / W / DBE developers or subcontractors, expand business opportunities in the neighborhood, the Increase property value, support city goals and priorities, and improve the quality of life for Newark residents.
For more information, please visit the Newark Land Bank FAQ page or email [email protected]
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