13:10 PM

NJ Department of Community Affairs Commissioner joins Horizon BCBSNJ and Ironbound Community Corporation to view plans for Newark revitalization project

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) joined New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Richard E. Constable III, Esq. in viewing a Newark housing revitalization and urban beatification project funded in large part through Horizon BCBSNJ’s participation in the DCA’s Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program.The project, which was initiated last week by the Newark-based Ironbound Community Corporation, features the rehabilitation of ten abandoned housing units on the blocks surrounding Hawkins Street School as affordable housing and improvements to the East Ferry Streetscape. Jonathan R. Pearson, director of corporate social responsibility for Horizon BCBSNJ (left) reviews NRTC project plans for rehabilitated housing and streetscape with Ironbound Community Corporation Executive Director Joseph Della Fave (center) and New Jersey Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Richard E. Constable III, Esq. (right) at Ironbound Early Learning Center in Newark on March 25."The NRTC program is one way that Horizon has been able to give back to and invest in the communities we serve and in particular, the city where we have been headquartered as a company for the last 82 years," said Jonathan R. Pearson, director of corporate social responsibility for Horizon BCBSNJ."The NRTC program makes it possible for public, private and non-profit organizations to combine resources for improving New Jersey’s great urban neighborhoods," Constable said. “It is gratifying to see first-hand how the Ironbound Community Corporation is working to bring positive, transformational changes to urban neighborhoods," he said.At Ironbound Early Learning Center on New York Avenue, which is another NRTC completed venture -- Commissioner Constable, Pearson and Corporation Executive Director Joseph Della Fave reviewed plans for the new housing and streetscape project, funded with the help of a $250,000 Horizon BCBSNJ NRTC grant. Other corporate sponsors funding the project, which totals $985,000, include JP Morgan Chase, Public Service Enterprise Group, Electric and Gas, RTL Services, Inc., and TD Bank."We are very thankful for the support we receive from the DCA and companies like Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey," said Della Fave. "With Horizon’s help we can continue to improve the quality of life for residents and strengthen Newark neighborhoods."The Ironbound Community Corporation serves the community with a broad array of programs and services including early child care and education, parenting education and family support services, health services, adult education, senior citizen services and environmental and community development initiatives.The NRTC program provides business entities a 100 percent tax credit for funds provided to nonprofit entities carrying out comprehensive revitalization plans. Nonprofit entities must use at least 60% of the tax credit funds for housing and economic development; the remaining funds may be used for supportive services and other neighborhood improvements. For more information about the NRTC program, visit http://www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/nrtc.html.About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New JerseyHorizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.8 million members.