The Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey awarded the City of Trenton and East Trenton Collaborative (ETC) the “Outstanding Municipal Partner — Redevelopment” award at the HCDNNJ annual conference, held on Oct. 15 and 16.

HCDNNJ comprises more than 250 nonprofit, community development, and private sector organizations that support the creation of economic opportunities for low and moderate-income community residents. ETC is operated by N.J. Community Capital for the purposes of community organizing and development.

As part of the award, HCDNNJ recognized Trenton’s social and economic revitalization efforts, including the redevelopment of multiple city-owned abandoned homes and mixed-use buildings, the rebuilding and reopening of Hetzel Pool, the renovation of the historic East Trenton Library, the repaving of roads, the installation of decorative crosswalks and speed humps, and the clean-up of several major brownfields sites.

“This award reflects the discipline, determination, and dedication of our community and our collaboration,” said Evelyn Hawthorne, a community leader with ETC and UrbanPromise Trenton.

“The City has always valued its partnership with East Trenton Collaborative in planning and implementing neighborhood redevelopment and revitalization efforts,” said Mayor Reed Gusciora. “We look forward to continued improvements to housing and other services that will better serve our residents and transform North Trenton in the coming years.”

In 2015 ETC updated its “East Trenton Vision Plan,” which key stakeholders initially drafted in 2009. The plan received support from the N.J. Department of Community Affairs under the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program (NRTC), which provides businesses with a 100 percent tax credit for funds provided to nonprofit entities carrying out comprehensive revitalization plans.

Department of Public Works Director Wahab Onitiri accepted the award on behalf of the city.

From January, 2018, to October, 2020, the Department of Public Works cleaned over 946 public and private properties, cleared 1,038 alleyways, and paved 55 streets, which make up about 15.4 miles of roads throughout the city.