TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer) today lauded the awarding of a $22 million federal HOPE VI Revitalization Grant to help transform a long-standing eyesore in the city of Trenton into much-needed affordable housing. Since the fall, Sen. Turner has been urging members of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation to support Trenton’s grant application, underscoring the need to revitalize the “Miller Homes” site, which has stood vacant for more than 15 years now.
“This is fantastic news for the city of Trenton, particularly in light of the difficult economic times we are in and the scarcity of state aid. This highly competitive grant will enable the city to transform a structure plagued by years of decay and societal ills into a model for urban revitalization.
“This grant holds the promise to return this property to what it once was many years ago – a safe and affordable haven for families like my own. Unlike most people who only know Miller Homes as the symbol of decay that it is today, I have fond memories of living there with my family while I was in college. At that time, it was a beautiful, affordable place to live for families getting by on a limited income. After I graduated college and became a teacher, I was no longer income eligible to live there, but the homes continued to hold a special place in my heart and I became actively involved in organizing a tenant association to help combat deteriorating living conditions.
“After years of decline, today marks a turning point in the history of this site. The Trenton Housing Authority should be commended for their highly ambitious vision for this project. Not only will it create desperately needed affordable housing, but it will do so in an energy efficient manner, making the units all the more economical for residents.
“I’d also like to thank the members of our Congressional delegation who have gotten behind this project and helped Trenton secure these valuable funds. This project will be a testament to the power of collaboration and a shining oasis in the heart of our city.”
Trenton, along with Jersey City, is one of only six cities in the country to receive a HOPE VI grant today. The grant will help fund a considerable portion of the $99 million project – along with a combination of other state and federal funds – which will include the demolition of two, 10-story towers and 40 town homes and the construction of more than 300 new affordable housing units spread out both on and off-site.
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