How Newark Is Encouraging New and Existing Residents to Stay Local – Next City

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How Newark Is Encouraging New and Existing Residents to Stay Local

January 8, 2020

In recent decades, Newark’s population has been on a decline. Tech companies like Audible have drawn people to work in Newark, but those workers go home to other cities. 

After crunching some numbers, the Newark Alliance found that only 8 percent of Newark’s anchor employees live within city limits. And only 1 percent of anchor employees live within the industrial core. 

To address this problem, the Newark Alliance created Newark Live Local — an initiative that provides financial incentives to both new and current Newark residents to move to or stay within the city’s downtown corridor. The goal is that within five years, Newark Live Local will have generated a total of 1,500 new residents. 

The one-year incentive program offers eligible participants, dependent upon income, a one time allowance of up to $4,000 to offset their cost of living. Newark homeowners looking to make improvements to the exterior of their houses can receive grant money ranging from 50 percent to 80 percent of the cost of one project. 

To be eligible for Newark Live Local, all participants must be employed full time in Newark or a surrounding municipality. Additionally, participants must be willing to sign a lease or own a home within the designated program area

By using a tiered income approach, where people making less can receive a larger payment, Newark Live Local is centering the needs of residents who are on the lower level of the economic scale. 

“Mobilizing disenfranchised communities is my key motivation in pursuing public service work,” says Sibusisiwe Malaba, director of The Newark Anchor Collaborative and presenter for this webinar. “I have witnessed firsthand how transformative collaboration and building partnership is in pursuing that end.”

Since its launch in 2019, Newark Live Local has welcomed 100 new residents to the city. 

This webinar will cover how Newark Live Local was formed, the application process, and the impact that the initiative has made in Newark during its pilot year. 

Malaba is a seasoned public servant who holds more than 10 years of experience in community and legislative affairs. She currently serves as director of the Newark Anchor Collaborative at the Newark Alliance where she leads a network of Newark public and private institutions advancing equitable and inclusive economic development strategies within the city. Her prior roles include National Urban Fellow at Prudential and executive director of the Massachusetts Black and Latino Legislative Caucus.

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