2019 Governor's Conference on Housing and Economic Development

HOF-winner2019 Housing and Economic Hall of Fame Award 

Congratulations to our 2019 Housing and Economic Hall of Fame Award recipient Connie Mercer, a long-time advocate for homeless individuals and the founder and chief executive officer of HomeFront, a Mercer County nonprofit dedicated to ending homelessness.

The Housing and Economic Development Hall of Fame Award recognizes trailblazers in the housing and economic development fields ranging from those who work to create, finance, and develop affordable housing and economic growth opportunities to individuals who advocate, lead, and educate the public on the issues.

HomeFront began in 1991 after Connie Mercer made a visit to a motel on the Route 1 strip in Mercer County and witnessed firsthand the impact of homelessness, particularly on women and children.

From her kitchen table, she began planning what would become HomeFront, today one of Central Jersey’s leading nonprofit social service agencies. HomeFront’s mission is to end homelessness in Central Jersey by harnessing the caring, resources, and expertise of the community. She began with a group of volunteers who provided meals for families living in these motels.

HomeFront now offers a comprehensive services model to address all of the underlying causes of homelessness. Included among its 35 programs are housing assistance, education, life-skills and employment training classes, childcare, and enrichment for people who are homeless or at high risk of becoming so. On any given night, HomeFront provides shelter to over 450 people, two-thirds of whom are children, through its Family Campus temporary shelter, transitional and permanent housing. In the past year alone, families called upon HomeFront over 29,000 times seeking shelter, food and other life-changing assistance.

See more photos from the Hall of Fame Reception



Governor's Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Awards

Congratulations to our 2019 Governor's Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Award winners. Through these awards, we recognize projects and professionals that are on the cutting edge of innovation in the fields of affordable housing and economic development. This year's categories were selected to reflect current community needs and challenges.

Leading Neighborhood Revitalization Partnership Award
Leading Innovative
Economic Development

Leading Housing
Development Award

The Leading Neighborhood Revitalization Partnership Award was presented to the Dr. Lena Frances Edwards Apartments in Jersey City, Hudson County. The development is the culmination of the redevelopment of a blighted and contaminated site into 64 units of affordable housing with five set aside for homeless veterans.

The award-winning development team included: Jersey City Redevelopment Agency; Genesis Companies; Bank of America; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 2; and Kitchen & Associates.
The Leading Innovative Economic Development Award was presented to the Harrison Avenue Landfill Redevelopment Project in Kearny, Hudson County. Hartz Mountain Industries, the owner/developer, took on acquisition, remediation, and redevelopment of the 26-acre, long-dormant project to develop the Cummins Power Systems Training and Maintenance Facility and Preferred Freezer Services Freezer Warehouse.

Award winners included: PS&S Integrated Services; Hartz Mountain Industries, LLC; Preferred Freezer Services; Cummins, Inc.; and the Town of Kearny.
The Leading Housing Development Award was presented to Hudson Ridge Residences at Aberdeen, Monmouth County, which transformed a contaminated Superfund site that had been vacant for 20 years into 145 units of affordable housing, including family and senior apartments, with 20 set aside for individuals with special needs, including 10 apartments for veterans, and a standalone community center.

The development team that received the award included: RPM Development Group; the Township of Aberdeen; Inglese Architecture + Engineering; and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

CampSaluteLeading Supportive Housing Development Award

The Leading Supportive Housing Development Award was presented to Camp Salute in Clayton, Gloucester County. The project provides 76 units of affordable housing, with 19 set aside for homeless and/or disabled veterans, with a veteran preference for the remaining apartments.

The award recipients include: Conifer Realty, LLC; People for People Foundation of Gloucester County, Inc.; Housing Authority of Gloucester County; The Home Depot Foundation of New Jersey Metro Region; Kitchen & Associates; and the Borough of Clayton.

See more photos from the awards  

Start thinking about your potential award-winning development and watch for details on the 2020 Governor's Excellence in Housing and Economic Development Awards early next year.