Asbury Park will receive a $500,000 Choice Neighborhood planning grant which will be used to develop comprehensive strategies for affordable housing on the west side, pedestrian-friendly blocks and supportive social services for residents.
Only 10 communities across the country will receive such funding. Selected from 64 applicants, the 10 communities will receive a nation-wide total of $8,000,000.
The city in conjunction with the Asbury Park Housing Authority will use the funds jointly.
“It’s an honor to be the recipient of this grant. We understand that this was a very competitive process, and we’re very grateful to the Asbury Park Housing Authority for making this happen,” Mayor John Moor said.
“I cannot wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” said Asbury Park Director of Planning and Redevelopment Michele Alonso. “This grant gives us the opportunity to develop our full potential for meaningful, inclusive redevelopment on the west side.”
“This grant is a neighborhood grant, so it affects the whole community, not just Housing Authority properties and residents,” said Tyrone Garrett, interim director of the Asbury Park Housing Authority. “It’s going to be city-wide, all residents will benefit from this in some way, shape, or form.”
“We’ve covered every aspect, every social service aspect we could identify through our partners, from primary education up through higher education, healthcare, job training, and more. This is the momentum builder for great things for the Housing Authority overall, and we will use this grant funding as a platform and strategy for bigger and better things,” Garrett said.
Asbury Park’s partners in the project include Interfaith Neighbors, Hope Academy Charter School, Prevention First and the Visiting Nurses Association, Monmouth Medical Center, the Boys and Girls Club of Monmouth County, Maestro Community Development Corporation, Monmouth University, Wallace Roberts & Todd, the Asbury Park Community Action Network, and New Jersey Natural Gas.
HUD will work closely with Asbury Park throughout the planning process. This grant also allows Asbury Park to apply for Choice Neighborhood implementation grants for funds to assist in fulfilling those plans.
New Jersey’s national elected officials voiced their support for Asbury Park’s receipt of the grant in a joint statement, emphasizing what the $500,000 can accomplish for the city’s west side.
“The west side of Asbury Park is a neighborhood full of untapped opportunity,” US Senator Bob Menendez said. “With this grant, investors, community groups and local officials will have the tools to transform the area to create opportunities for residents, and help Asbury Park return to its glory as a premiere Jersey Shore destination. Programs such as these are crucial for building ladders to the middle class for lower-income residents, strengthening neighborhoods and sowing the seeds for job and economic growth.”
“As a former mayor, I have seen first-hand the impact successful federal programs like the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative have on addressing some of the most pressing needs in our communities,” said US Senator Cory Booker. “This federal funding will help Asbury Park lay the groundwork for long-term plans that will support revitalization efforts, improve access to safe and affordable housing, and strengthen neighborhoods. We must remain committed to securing the resources needed to help lift up our most under- served communities and create pathways of opportunity for all.”
“I congratulate the Asbury Park Housing Authority and the City of Asbury Park on receiving this grant,” said Congressman Frank Pallone. “These funds will help this iconic city continue its revitalization and, most importantly, improve the quality of life for residents of the West Side. Asbury Park is tremendously important to the Jersey shore and our local economy and these funds will allow the City to take another step forward.”