Community Foundation of New Jersey

Mayor Ras J. Baraka Officially Launches the Seymour Model Block Project at Press Conference in South Ward Model Neighbor

May 21, 2015

Mayor Ras J. Baraka, the Newark Municipal Council and the Department of Economic and Housing Development will hold a press conference and ribbon cutting on Wednesday, May 27, at 10:30 am, at 186 Seymour Avenue to launch Seymour Model Block Project.

Led by the City of Newark, the Seymour Model Block Project is a place-based community revitalization effort that targets Seymour Avenue, between Clinton Avenue and West Runyon Street.  The mission of this collaborative effort is to fight back against blight and deterioration in the South Ward that was the result of the recent housing and foreclosure crisis that hit cities across America.  With more than a dozen abandoned houses and vacant lots, the targeted block of Seymour Avenue exhibits many phenomena that are typical of urban areas experiencing blight and disinvestment, making it an ideal source of best practices to scale up throughout the City’s Model Neighborhoods and beyond.

The City of Newark has built strong public-private partnerships to execute a multi-pronged community development approach that will create permanent quality of life solutions for the South Ward Model Neighborhood and throughout the City of Newark.  Organizations involved in this effort include the Strong Healthy Communities Initiative (SHCI), Community Asset Preservation Corporation (CAPC), New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC), the South Ward Children’s Alliance (SWCA), and others who invest in and are committed to serving Newark’s South Ward. The City of Newark, and its partners, are reclaiming these abandoned homes through legal means and beginning to rehabilitate the block.  In additional to rehabilitating vacant properties, the Seymour Model Block Project also includes the development of community gardens, the release of façade improvement grants for occupied housing, the restoration and reactivation of Mildred Helms Park, neighborhood cleanups, the deployment of public safety and public arts initiatives, and resident engagement and leadership training.  The outcome will display the potential for sustainable neighborhood change, harnessing community strengths and reopening spaces that provide Newark’s children and families with what they need to live healthy and sustainable lives in the South Ward.

WHO:                    Mayor Ras J. Baraka

                                Newark Municipal Council

                                Department of Economic & Housing Development

                                Department of Neighborhood & Recreational Services

WHAT:              Ribbon cutting at Seymour Model Block Project

WHEN:             Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at 10:30 am

WHERE:           186 Seymour Avenue, Newark, New Jersey

For more information, contact the Press Information Office – (973) 733-8004.   E-mail: Pressoffice@ci.newark.nj.us