The Community Development Division focuses federal and state resources on improving quality of life issues in the City of Vineland such as housing, community safety, recreation, resident information, and resident empowerment. The Division works in partnership with public agencies, non-profit organizations, and developers to provide vital community programs.
The Community Development Division receives no funding from the City of Vineland municipal budget. Community Development programs are funded by Community Development Block Grants (CBDG) and Home Investment Partnership Program (HOME) grants awarded through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and through payments made by developers to the New Jersey Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Residential Rehab Program
By far the Division’s largest activity is operating the Residential Rehab Program (RRP), which provides interest-free loans to repair residential properties where income-eligible families live. Nearly all of these homes are owner-occupied, though the program is available for rental properties. Division staff helps the homeowner to verify applicant eligibility, assess work that needs to be done, solicit bids and select a qualified home repair contractor, monitor repairs for quality and timeliness, and handle all payments and reporting in conjunction with the program. A large percentage of program beneficiaries are either senior citizens living on fixed incomes or working, single-parent households. Income eligibility levels are set by HUD at 80% of the Area Median Income. Click here for current income limits.
Besides housing rehab, city CDBG funds are used for a wide variety of non-housing activities, as permitted by federal regulations. For instance, CDBG funds can be used to purchase fire and safety equipment for the city, improve parks and other public facilities, or to support city code enforcement efforts. In addition, Non-profit organizations providing social services predominantly to low- and moderate-income residents of Vineland are also eligible to apply for support from the CDBG Program. Funds are limited and demand is great, but eligible new applicants are welcome. Applications are reviewed by staff in conjunction with the Community Development Advisory Committee.
Applications are considered annually. An invitation to apply is sent each year, typically in January, to organizations that have received funding previously or have asked to receive an application. To be added to the list of organizations being invited to apply, please send your request and contact information to the Director of Community Development.
Under the HOME program, all funds must be used to either preserve or create affordable housing units. The Division can assist local non-profits such as Habitat For Humanity that have been designated as Community Housing Development Organizations with funding and other support.
Home Ownership Assistance Program
The Home Ownership Assistance Program (HOAP) provides interest-free loans of up to $5,000 to help with down payments and closing costs for families wishing to purchase a home in center city Vineland (bounded by Park, West and Chestnut avenues, and Myrtle Street). The assistance is in the form or an interest-free second mortgage on the property. The loan is repaid when the buyer no longer uses the property as their principal residence.
The Division often receives calls for types of assistance that the program does not directly provide. In these cases, we try to help residents find the assistance they need by referring them to the appropriate entity, whether it is another city department, Cumberland County government, private non-profits, or elsewhere. The ability to provide timely, accurate information requires Division staff to network with other assistance providers. Contact our office at 856-794-4077.