Norwescap’s Community Development Department works to build vibrant communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Based on the Community Development Corporation (CDC) model, the program focuses on revitalizing neighborhoods in Norwescap’s service area with an emphasis on low-income, underserved neighborhoods that have experienced significant disinvestment.
CDCs most commonly work towards developing affordable housing; however, they are usually involved in a range of initiatives critical to community health such as economic development, sanitation, street scape design, place-making and neighborhood planning projects, and oftentimes even provide education and social services to neighborhood residents.
Through a number of initiatives including the Community Based Crime Reduction Program (CBCR), the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP), and the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program (NRTC) our Community Development Program has been able to leverage approximately 1.5 million dollars to date in funding to an area located in Phillipsburg. The program will expand to Sussex County, specifically, Sussex Borough.
Community Based Crime Reduction (CBCR)
The data-driven, Community Based Crime Reduction (CBCR) Program, formerly the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovations (BCJI) Program, identifies high crime areas that have a direct effect on the quality of life for its residents. Community attachment is vital to developing and maintaining safe neighborhoods and improving the quality of life. Residents’ involvement plays a major role in improving their community through identifying solutions to the problems on their streets and surrounding area. A community wide assessment is conducted through collaboration between Norwescap, law enforcement and a university research partnership.
Evidence-based strategies are implemented to reduce crime with the purpose of making neighborhoods safer in order for the community to thrive. Examples of strategies include, but not limited to installing surveillance cameras, lighting and cleaning up areas of known “hot spots” that hide criminal activity, i.e. cutting down overgrown brush, removing trash, etc.
Police Chaplaincy Certification training is available to the faith-based community to provide support to First Responders as well as Fair and Impartial Police training. In addition, Community Policing is promoted to enhance the relationship of residents and police to become partners in reducing crime by reporting suspicious activity and cooperating when law enforcement are investigating an incident. Police engagement allows communities to be good stewards of their neighborhoods.
There is also a particular focus on juvenile offenders in which a Station House Adjustment program was developed and implemented through the Phillipsburg Police Department to reduce the number of repeat juvenile offenders.
For more information on CBCR Innovations:
Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP)
In December 2019, Norwescap entered into a Shared Services Agreement with the Town of Phillipsburg to administer the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) funded through New Jersey Department of Community Affairs NJ DCA Neighborhood Preservation Program Phillipsburg is the acting fiscal agent and final decision maker of the NPP plan while Norwescap provides the services to implement the NPP strategic plan.
The NPP directly serves neighborhoods that are beginning to decline but can be rehabilitated and restored by cultivating existing social, economic, financial, and technical resources toward the development and implementation of planned activities that sustain neighborhood vitality. An NPP plan was developed using an overall comprehensive cooperative approach that includes all sectors of the community to encourage and promote the social and economic strengthening and development of neighborhoods. This is achieved through the cooperative, concentrated efforts of residents, local lending institutions, businesses, municipal governments and the State of New Jersey. The NPP takes a comprehensive approach to neighborhood development, which affords municipalities flexible and creative options. The South Main St. Phillipsburg NPP plan written for Phillipsburg has been recognized by the New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) as the model NPP plan to be used as a best practice for other municipalities. Strategies focus on leveraging and developing assets to drive activity, improving the look, feel and function of public spaces and to foster a vibrant business district. Four teams, Business Development, Promotions, Design and Event Support implement the NPP Plan.
For more information on the NPP Plan:
Neighborhood Preservation Plan
The Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program (NRTC)
The Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program (NRTC), funded through New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, provides business entities an 80 percent tax credit for funds provided to nonprofit entities carrying out comprehensive revitalization plans. At least 60% of the tax credit funds must be used for housing and economic development; the remaining funds may be used for supportive services and other activities that promote neighborhood revitalization.
Norwescap developed a Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) plan in 2009 resulting in completing housing and economic development projects in Phillipsburg over a 10 year period, estimated at $800,000. In 2019, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs extended the NRTC program to allow our Community Development team to submit an updated plan to continue the revitalization of Phillipsburg’s South Main Street Corridor. Norwescap was awarded $345,000 for a project that will build affordable homeownership and expand economic development in the Parnassus neighborhood of Phillipsburg.
For more information on the NRTC Program
Mary Jo Harris, Community Development Manager
908-454-7000, Ext. 1136