Old ERG program is taking applications again — here’s why

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority is accepting applications for the Economic Redevelopment and Growth program, it announced Tuesday.

Just so we’re clear, because many likely are confused:

  • This is the old ERG program, which existed during Gov. Chris Christie’s administration. It has not accepted an application since June 2019;
  • The ERG program is being brought back — or restarted — thanks to $50 million in tax credits that were put in the Economic Recovery Act of 2021;
  • The ERG program is being brought back to serve as a stopgap while its successor, Aspire, gets up to speed.

The new phase of the ERG program will be administered based on preexisting ERG regulations and statutes, as amended by the ERA, which added new prevailing wage and minimum wage requirements.

For additional information and detailed eligibility requirements, including a clarifying document outlining all requirements and application review protocols for interested parties, click here.

Tim Sullivan, the CEO of the EDA, said bringing back the ERG program is a shrewd move.

“Thanks to the foresight of Gov. (Phil) Murphy and the Legislature in reopening the ERG program, essential housing projects throughout New Jersey that have been on hold will be able to move forward while the new programs created by the Economic Recovery Act are under development,” he said.

“This will not only provide much-needed new housing in our state, but it will also drive economic growth by creating construction jobs and attracting more workers to New Jersey. This is always important, but it is especially crucial now as we begin recovering from the economic impacts of COVID-19.”

Under the ERA, residential ERG projects can receive tax credits of up to 30% of total eligible project costs. Projects in Atlantic City, Camden, Paterson, Passaic and Trenton can receive tax credits of up to 40% of eligible project costs. ERG tax credits are not meant to be a substitute for conventional debt and equity financing, and applicants should generally have their primary debt financing in place before applying.