Some of New Brunswick’s most chronic challenges – from crime and safety to housing and access to services – should be addressed in a coordinated, sustained effort.
New Brunswick’s Neighborhood Task Force
consists of representatives from all of the community development efforts in the city, and representatives from a variety of city departments (police, fire, code enforcement, health, etc.) to develop and implement multi-pronged strategies for families seeking to achieve upward economic mobility as well as an improved living environment. Establishing a Neighborhood Task Force, consisting of neighborhood leaders throughout the city, will institute formal communications between neighborhoods, local governments and NBT.
The Neighborhood Task Force seeks to find broad-based solutions to achieve a healthier, safe environment for our families in our diverse community. In its infancy, the Neighborhood Task Force will convene stakeholders from city government and representatives from neighborhood development projects to:
- Develop a Citywide Neighborhood Development Plan; and
- Determine actionable strategies that address neighborhood needs.
Historically, NBT has focused on neighborhood development. Over 20 years ago, NBT, Devco, and the City of New Brunswick partnered with the First Baptist church of Lincoln Garden to initiate the Renaissance Project, which included a significant portion of the city’s public housing residents. Ten years ago, NBT collaborated with the Civic League of Greater New Brunswick and Rutgers University on the George Road Gateway Project, where an assessment revealed the concerns of a neighborhood that borders Cook College and Bristol-Myers Squibb.
During the same period, NBT and the New Brunswick Housing Authority partnered to implement a federal HOPE VI grant, which redesigned an entire neighborhood by relocating 188 families in order to demolish four antiquated and unsafe public housing buildings. About seven years ago, Catholic Charities initiated a neighborhood development project called Unity Square, a 37 block area that includes over 5,000 families. While NBT was not directly involved in its creation, we supported their efforts though the Family Task Force.
Presently, NBT is collaborating with the City of New Brunswick and the Puerto Rican Action Board (PRAB) to implement the Esperanza Neighborhood Project, a neighborhood improvement and revitalization initiative focused on a 57-block area of New Brunswick. The strategies and successes of the Esperanza Project, forged in grassroots partnership with residents and local stakeholders, will help to inform NBT’s contributions to the Task Force.
Join us at the next Task Force meeting.