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Sponsored by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, in partnership with the City of Camden and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, LWYW is a special homebuyer incentive program that provides low-interest mortgage loans and downpayment assistance to people who work in Camden and wish to purchase a home in the City of Camden. The program builds strong communities, increases housing development and builds support for local businesses.

Local Sourcing: In January 2010, Rutgers-Camden pledged to double its purchasing from Camden businesses over the next five years. Working under a grant from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, CFP, in partnership with the Camden UEZ and Camden County are organizing the city's anchor institutes to join in this pledge. Working with the County to brand the initiative, Local Sourcing is being marketed as, Go Local Go Camden. CFP’s role in this project is to create a web portal with a directory of local businesses, as well as facilitate the sharing of lessons among the institutions. In addition, CFP is helping to organize a local sourcing networking event for small businesses and anchor institutions on November 9th, 2011.


The Vacant Lot Stabilization Program supports the revitalization of the City of Camden by securing vacant lots. Camden City’s extraordinary number of vacant lots was cited as one of the community’s leading priorities. As such, CFP executed a vacant lot greening and maintenance program that cleaned and greened eighty-one vacant lots in the neighborhood and now employs two Camden residents within the Camden Special Services District to maintain these lots. Over the next six months, CFP will green another 100 lots under a partnership with the Camden Redevelopment Agency and the Federal Government via the Neighborhood Stabilization Program II. The increased landscaping ability gained from this maintenance service has also allowed the CSSD to maintain the various medians, traffic triangles and tree wells throughout the Downtown.


Cooper’s Ferry Partnership strives to prevent and remove graffiti throughout the community. In conjunction with the Mayor’s Office, CFP launched a graffiti removal initiative in the spring of 2010 with the mission to make Camden City graffiti free. This program employs a dedicated team of two Camden residents and is jointly funded by the Urban Enterprise Zone. Since the launch, the CSSD has removed over 800 occurrences of graffiti, amounting to approximately 12,000 square feet. As the second year of the initiative begins, the team plans to operate further into the commercial corridors in the city’s neighborhoods and meet its goal of removing graffiti within 48 hours after it is reported.


CFP recently completed a very successful program to benefit Camden homeowners, stabilize neighborhoods and put local contractors to work. Camden POWER granted up to $18,600 to fund energy efficient home improvements and any necessary life/safety rehabilitation repairs. Valuable home upgrades were completed, such as high-efficiency furnaces, hot water heaters, insulation, insulated roofs and blower door guided air-sealing, with the goal of reducing energy consumption, lowering utility bills, improving property values and promoting neighborhood stabilization. One hundred sixty-one (161) homes were retrofitted through POWER. While the minimum required total energy savings (TES) for the program was 25%, many homes achieved 30-45% TES, and 4 homes achieved 50+% TES. This TES will provide long-term benefits for Camden homeowners who will see a substantial savings in their utility bills.

Camden Residential POWER was made possible by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the NJ Economic Development Authority and the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Clean Energy Program. Over $2.78 million was invested into Camden residences. Camden POWER financing was administered by NJ HMFA. Cooper’s Ferry Partnership served as the locally-based Program Administrator on behalf of the City of Camden.


In the spring of 2012, the Camden SMART (Stormwater Management and Resource Training) Initiative celebrated its First Anniversary. A public-private collaboration, the objective of the Camden SMART Initiative is to develop a comprehensive network of green and gray infrastructure projects for the City of Camden to better manage the city’s stormwater. Members of the SMART Initiative are CFP, the City of Camden, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA), NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, Rowan University, and New Jersey Tree Foundation.

Since the beginning of 2013, the Camden SMART team successfully organized three rain barrel workshops at the Cramer Hill CDC, the Neighborhood Center, and at St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society. The workshops are part of a larger initiative funded by a $10,000 grant from the Campbell Soup Foundation to distribute 100 rain barrels throughout neighborhoods in Camden to help collect stormwater runoff in residential neighborhoods.

Also in 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently completed the technical assistance grant awarded to Camden SMART in 2012. The EPA team reviewed all the stormwater management policies and regulations for Camden and completed a Green Infrastructure Handbook for the City if Camden. The policy and regulation review took into consideration how CFP should aid in issues of policy and programming to further establish ambitious and measurable sustainability goals in the city. The Green Infrastructure Handbook provides a comprehensive review of all green and sustainable infrastructure development in the construction of residential and commercial buildings as well as retrofits to existing parking lots, sidewalks, and streets. The guide will be made available to the public to promote sustainable development in Camden.

Finally, Camden SMART partnered with the City of Camden to organize the second annual Camden Earth Week. Camden Earth Week 2013 featured seven days worth of events ranging from tree plantings, park cleanups, documentary screenings, and the return of the popular Green Drinks event. Camden SMART organized and attended 10 community events throughout the city from April 20th through April 27th. Partners who helped organize and fund the Earth Week events included, the Neighborhood Center, Fairview Neighbors, the Shade Tree Advisory Board, Rutgers-Camden University, Pyne Poynt School, Victor Pub, Wilson High School, Education Works, Home Depot, Camden Department of Public Works, Parkside Business and Community in Partnership, United Neighbors Community Center, and the Friends of Northgate Park. The Camden SMART team could not have organized Camden Earth Week 2013 without the support of these community and funding partners.

For more information, please visit www.camdensmart.com.

Spark Creative Group