Devils, Prudential Center donate $200K to Invest Newark to support Land Bank initiative

Unique program helps turn blighted properties into livable homes, communities

The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center announced Tuesday that they have recently donated $200,000 to Invest Newark to support the city of Newark’s Land Bank Section 8 Homeownership Conversion Program.

This contribution will support the redevelopment of vacant land into residential properties across the city, and support families in successfully transitioning from renters to homeowners. The donation is being made as a part of the Devils, Prudential Center and owner Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment’s $20 million commitment to racial equity that was announced in August 2020 and continues today.

The Newark Land Bank Section 8 Homeownership Conversion Program, a unique program spearheaded by Mayor Ras Baraka and the city, takes formerly blighted properties and vacant land and transforms them into homes. Recipients are chosen from a lottery of active Section 8 holders that qualify for a mortgage through the Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America.

“Newark’s Land Bank program — still the first and only one in the state — is an invaluable tool in our efforts to turn our residents from renters to homeowners,” Baraka said. “This $200,000 grant commitment from the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center shows their continued support of their ‘home’ city as they strive to root families into homeownership. By expanding opportunities in our neighborhoods, the Devils and Prudential Center demonstrate what being good corporate neighbors looks like, and that they truly are ‘Newark and Proud of It.’”

Invest Newark CEO Marcus Randolph was thrilled.

“We are extremely excited to have received the contribution from HBSE that allows us to renovate, develop and provide new homes to Newark residents,” he said. “The Section 8 Homeownership Program helps families build generational wealth, increase their financial resilience and invest in Newark’s neighborhoods. HSBE’s contribution helps us do this important work and will lead to more Newark residents owning their own homes.”

The donation is part of HBSE’s $20 million commitment toward racial equity, which was made in 2020. Through this commitment and HBSE’s work more broadly, the organization has implemented a number of charitable efforts in Newark, Camden and Philadelphia. These have included donations to support historically underresourced communities, bridge socioeconomic disparities, and provide local diverse businesses with financial counseling, brand and marketing assets — including premier helmet brand positioning on the New Jersey Devils’ helmets for all road games — and the Jersey Shops program that amplifies local and small businesses throughout New Jersey.

“We are thrilled to announce our support of Invest Newark, an organization that represents a true testament of dedication to our home city,” HBSE Chief Diversity Officer David Gould said. “We are always looking to assist groups that are committed to making our communities better, and this collaboration in creating homeownership will provide life-changing opportunities for 25 families. We made a point in 2020 to be leaders in racial and social equity, and we look forward to creating more avenues in this space.”