​CONTACT INFO

City of Vineland
640 East Wood St
P.O. Box 1508
Vineland, NJ 08362-1508
(856) 794-4000

​​​​​Community Development

Mission Statement

The City of Vineland Community Development Program exists to help individuals and neighborhoods help themselves. The Community Development Program focuses federal and state resources on improving such quality of life issues as housing, community safety, recreation, resident information and resident empowerment.

 
Funding

 
The Community Development Program receives no funding from the City of Vineland municipal budget. All administrative and program costs come from federal and state grants awarded to the City of Vineland. These resources include:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant:
Vineland has received CDBG funding for more than 30 years. The latest award, for Federal   Fiscal Year 2008, is for $545,367. 

The HUD HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME):
For the past 15 years, Vineland has led a consortium of area municipalities, including Millville, Bridgeton and Fairfield Township, who came together to receive funding under the HOME program. The latest award for the entire consortium is for $714,216, of which $307,827 is for Vineland. ------ Click here to see the latest budget for HOME funds. ------

The State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs' (DCA) Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP): 
The Neighborhood Preservation Program provides $100,000 per year for five years to support approved activities in the South East Center City Neighborhood (bounded by Landis Avenue, Chestnut Avenue, South East Boulevard and Myrtle Street).

The Cumberland Empowerment Zone: 
The Cumberland Empowerment Zone has awarded the City $435,000 over the past 8 years to fund the Home Ownership Assistance Program (HOAP), a revolving loan account that helps families purchase homes in Center City Vineland.

Affordable Housing Trust Fund: 
An account has recently been established to receive anticipated payments from developers. The payments are to cover affordable housing obligations as defined by the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) and that are the result of new development within the city.
Activities
By far the Program's largest activity is operating the Residential Rehab Program, which provides interest-free loans to repair residential properties where income-eligible families live. The Program completes an average of 55 rehabs annually, including an all-time high of 72 units during calendar year 2007 when more than $850,000 worth of improvements were made. Nearly all of these homes are owner-occupied, though the program is available for rental properties. A large percentage of program beneficiaries are either senior citizens living on fixed incomes (approximately 34%) or working, single-parent households (approximately 25%). Income eligibility levels are set by HUD at 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI). For example, the current limit for a family of 4 is $46,950.
Program responsibilities include verifying applicant eligibility, assessing the work that needs to be done, preparing work specifications to define the scope of work that will be done, soliciting bids from qualified home repair contractors, helping the homeowner select a contractor, monitoring repairs for quality and timeliness and handling all payments and reporting in conjunction with the program. Under the HOME program, we also provide support and monitoring for similar programs in Millville and Bridgeton and operate the program for Fairfield Township. As with any federally funded program, regulations and record-keeping requirements are extensive.
CDBG (non-housing):
Besides housing rehab, city CDBG funds are used for a wide variety of activities, as permitted by federal regulations. For instance, CDBG funds are used to purchase fire and safety equipment for the city, improve parks and other public facilities, support City code enforcement efforts and assist local non-profits in the delivery of recreational, educational and other social service programs.
Under the HOME program, all funds must be used to either preserve or create affordable housing units. The Community Development Program assists local non-profits, including those that have been designated as Community Housing Development Organizations (CHDOs), with affordable housing development in Vineland, Millville and Bridgeton.

Home Ownership Assistance Program:
The HOAP program 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). In the South East Center City Neighborhood Preservation Program area (bounded by Chestnut and Landis avenues, South East Boulevard and Myrtle Street), an additional $2,500, known as HOAP Plus, is available to assist homebuyers. 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 principal residence. To date some 250 families have participated in the program, including approximately 25 who purchased the same home they had been renting.
Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) issues:
All municipalities in the state are responsible for providing affordable housing and for reporting to COAH. During COAH's first two rounds, Vineland had a rehab obligation only. Beginning with COAH's Third Round rules, initially passed in December 2004 and retroactive to January 2004, Vineland has a Growth Share obligation to provide new housing units in proportion to the amount of new residential and commercial development that takes place in the city between January 2004 and December 2018. Contact Vineland's Municipal Housing Liaison, Alex Curio, at acurio@vinelandcity.org for additional information.

 
Redevelopment Process:
When the city Zoning Officer determines that a proposed use of property within the Center City Redevelopment Area is not consistent with the Center City Redevelopment Plan, the property owner or potential owner has the right to request that City Council amend the Redevelopment Plan to permit the use on the property in question. The Community Development Program's Director receives and processes applications requesting Plan amendments, including scheduling staff review and council consideration of the requests.
Abandoned properties:
A recently added function of the Community Development Program is compilation of a list of properties for potential action under the city's Abandoned Properties Ordinance and assistance in bringing about appropriate action as directed by the administration and legal staff. Such action could include court-ordered property improvements or demolition by the owner or by the city, possibly resulting in the city taking ownership of the property.

Suggest a property for the Abandoned Properties List by contacting Ken Heather at kheather@vinelandcity.org.

 
Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP):
The NJ Department of Community Affairs selected Vineland to participate in the Neighborhood Preservation Program for the South East Center City Neighborhood (bounded by Chestnut and Landis avenues, South East Boulevard and Myrtle Street). The NPP organizes resident participation in determining how to use the $100,000 annual grant (for 5 years) that comes with NPP designation. The SECC NPP addresses community safety, recreation, neighborhood appearance and home ownership.
Information and Referral:
The Community Development Program often receives calls for types of assistance that the program does not directly provide. In those cases, it is the aim of the program to help residents find the assistance they need by referring them to the appropriate entity, whether another department in the City or to Cumberland County government or to private non-profits or elsewhere. The ability to provide timely, accurate information requires CDP to network with other assistance providers. Contact the CDP office at 
856-794-4077.