In New Jersey, the Department of Community Affairs, Office of Community Services, distributes federal funds to Community Action Agencies that help income-eligible households with health, education, employment and housing needs. This office administers the federal Community Services Block Grant Program (CSBG). Ninety percent of the annual allocation must go to designated CAAs. The Office of Community Services also oversees the Office of Recreation, which distributes state funding, certifies professionals, offers conferences and provides technical assistance on recreation.
In addition, this office manages the Individual Development Account (IDA) Program. IDA programs are matched savings accounts that help working families save money to buy a home, start a small business, or pursue higher education. The program provides financial education, case management, homeownership counseling and other asset-goal-specific training to IDA participants.
In addition to the Office of Community Services, the Department of Community Affairs includes the following offices that also provide programs for New Jersey’s low-income population:
This office oversees programs that prevent homelessness and help people move out of temporary shelters and into stable, permanent housing. The office administers housing assistance programs such as the Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP), the Housing Choice Voucher Section 8 Program (Section 8) and the State Rental Assistance Program (SRAP).
This office assists in the development of affordable housing units for income-eligible families.
Low-income eligible households that are having a difficulty paying their heating and cooling bills can contact this office for financial assistance and help in weatherizing their homes.
The Neighborhood Programs Office administers a variety of other federal and state-funded programs, including the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), which provide funding to municipalities to help with economic development, housing rehabilitation and neighborhood revitalization; the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP I & III), a federal grant/loan program designed to acquire, rehabilitate and sell foreclosed/vacant properties in targeted neighborhoods; and the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC), designed to improve distressed neighborhoods via partnership with nonprofit organizations and contributing companies.
CSBG Resource Specialist
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
Division of Community Resources
PO Box 811, 5th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625-0811