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  • St. Peter the Apostle Senior Residence Soon to Open

    Posted on November 27th, 2012 lauren No comments

    RIVER EDGE, NJ (November 2012) –Build with Purpose, a NJ-based nonprofit, is moving forward with the redevelopment of the former convent for St. Peter the Apostle Parish in River Edge, NJ. The former convent is located at 445 5th Avenue and will become home for 25 local seniors beginning in April 2013.

    The concept for the senior residence came from Build with Purpose’s desire to provide seniors with a warm, safe and comfortable place to live at more affordable rates than traditional assisted living communities. “We’ve come to learn that many seniors can’t afford or simply don’t want to live alone, and many can’t afford the high cost of traditional for-profit assisted living facilities. We think this approach will help to fill the gap between living alone and assisted living,” says Brian Keenan, Director & President of Build with Purpose.

    Work began on this effort in early 2012 as Build with Purpose saw an opportunity to create a  new home for Bergen County seniors on the campus of the St. Peter the Apostle Church. The project is imagined as a community of seniors with a supportive environment, close to family and loved ones, but also offering residents a degree of independence.

    Located adjacent to St. Peter the Apostle Church and Van Saun Park in River Edge, NJ, thisfacility and location are attractive and safe. Monthly costs at St. Peter’s Residence will start at $1,900, a fraction of the state average of $4,286 for assisted living facilities. This small and intimate facility of 25 residents will provide independent seniors with much of the same care and services provided in traditional for-profit assisted living at more affordable rates. Amenities will include: three meals a day, housekeeping, transportation, recreation, private rooms and 24-hour on-site staff.

    Build with Purpose is sponsoring open houses throughout December to introduce the project to local seniors. The open house dates are scheduled for: Sunday, December 9th from 9AM until 2PM; Wednesday, December 12th from 12 until 7PM; Sunday, December 16th from 9AM until 2PM; Wednesday, December 19th from 12 until 7PM; Sunday, December 23rd from 9AM until 2PM; and Sunday, December 30thfrom 9AM until 2PM.  If you would like more information about St. Peter the Apostle Senior Residence, please call  Tiffany Pryce at 732-635-1000 x111 or visit our website at www.stpetersresidence.org.

  • Announcing a New Build with Purpose White Paper: Too Good to Be True: Lessons Learned on Solar Powering the Nonprofit Sector

    Posted on June 14th, 2012 lauren No comments

    We are pleased to share our findings from a new white paper of ours on solar powering the nonprofit sector.  As usual, we believe in being very practical when it comes to a facility or real estate project.  So along the way we learned that nonprofits can use these seven simple questions before pursuing a solar initiative and save themselves a great deal of time and effort.

    1. Do you have enough space for a large rooftop solar array? (If you want someone else to pay for it as an investor, make sure you have at least 20,000 SF).  Or do you have 20,000 square feet of space on the ground?
    2. Do you have a reasonable amount of sun on the roof?
    3. Is your roof older? Pitched or flat?
    4. Does your facility use a substantial amount of electricity?
    5. Do you own your facility?
    6. What is your risk profile? Is your organization willing to enter into a long-term electricity contract?
    7. Does your organization own multiple buildings with the same legal owner?


    For more information on whether solar is right for your nonprofit and how we can all make solar power more viable for the nonprofit sector, please visit:




  • BuildOneNJ Summit

    Posted on July 27th, 2010 Build with Purpose No comments

    Sherryl Cashin, Professor of Law, Georgetown University claims that segregation is caused by zoning power.  “You can gain control of your town’s socio-economic status through zoning powers.”

    Causes of segregation today (government policies):

    1. FHA practices: redlining, blockbusting
    2. 1956 Interstate highway program
    3. Exclusionary zoning by new suburban communities
    4. Urban Renewal demolition concentrating poverty to high-rise public housing projects

    Immigrants now going straight to inner ring of suburbs (original suburbs)

    Over the next 10 years the US will transition from majority white to majority non-white (this is already the case in almost half of all cities in the US)

    David Rusk, National Strategic Organizer of the Gamaliel Foundation and author of Inside Game/Outside Game.
    Key Regional Issues:
    What gets built?
    For whose benefit?
    At whose cost?

    “NJ is the 4th most governmentally fragmented state and one of the most racially segregated states in the nation.”  -David Rusk

    Rusk came up with a Municipal Opportunity Index:
    -job opportunity
    -school opportunity
    -municipal service quality
    -income and poverty level

    NJ has been failing in building one NJ agenda:
    -land use reform
    -housing policy reform (although there was a step forward in 2008 when the state legislator abolished Regional Contribution Agreements)
    -school finance reform
    -property tax reform

    Possible Solutions:
    -enact Municipal Opportunity Index into law, frame future policies around it
    -strengthen state plan:  inclusionary zoning (must be enacted by all towns), incentive builder fees, tax base sharing*, state municipal aid, state school aid
    *Tax base sharing: 309/552 municipalities would be net receivers (69%) by the Municipal Opportunity Index

    Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno gave all the attendees her cell phone number saying “you pay for that phone” (through tax dollars).  She told the attendees to give anyone her cell number that runs a business and is skeptical moving into NJ, she will convince them otherwise.

    She ideally wants to write a new state plan and create an Office of Planning Advocacy.  She said, “What you are going to see over the next couple of days is the Office of Smart Growth coming over from the DCA and being set in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.  We are creating the Office of Planning Advocacy.”

    A representative from Senator Robert Menendez’s office spoke at the Summit about the Livable Communities act of 2010.

    Overview of the Livable Communities Act of 2010 –
    Establishes in the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) an Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC). Establishes in the executive branch an independent Interagency Council on Sustainable Communities. Requires the OSHC Director to establish a program to make comprehensive planning grants and sustainability challenge grants to eligible entities (partnerships between a consortium of units of general local government and an eligible partner, which may be a metropolitan planning organization, a rural planning organization, a regional council, or a state). Requires the use of a comprehensive planning grant to carry out a project to: (1) coordinate land use, housing, transportation, and infrastructure planning processes across jurisdictions and agencies; (2) identify potential regional partnerships for developing and implementing a comprehensive regional plan; (3) conduct or update housing, infrastructure, transportation, energy, and environmental assessments to determine regional needs and promote sustainable development; (4) develop or update a comprehensive regional plan or goals and strategies to implement an existing comprehensive regional plan; and (5) implement local zoning and other code changes necessary to implement a comprehensive regional plan and promote sustainable development.

    Requires the use of a sustainability challenge grant to: (1) promote integrated transportation, housing, energy, and economic development activities carried out across policy and governmental jurisdictions; (2) promote sustainable and location-efficient development; and (3) implement projects identified in a comprehensive regional plan. Directs the OSHC Director to study and report to specified congressional committees on incentives for encouraging lenders to make, and homebuyers and homeowners to participate in, energy-efficient mortgages and location-efficient mortgages.

    Stefan Pryor, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, City of Newark
    Wants to incentivize regions to work together through tax benefits.
    Ex:  Urban Transit Hub tax credit
    -good idea beyond housing and zoning policy

    National Perspective- Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development
    “Dirty air does not respect city lines.”  -regarding the need for a regional approach in NJ

  • CD WiRe (July 15-21)

    Posted on July 21st, 2010 Build with Purpose No comments

    1. Gates Foundation puts its stamp on education
    According to the Seattle Times, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is helping to propel a “quiet revolution” in education reform. Since 2008, the foundation has used more than $650 million to target charter schools, testing research, data systems, science and math education, and common academic standards. Recently, it gave $40 million to power an experiment in teacher evaluation and performance pay at a network of Los Angeles charter schools; the same program will give several school districts up to $100 million each to improve teaching. The foundation’s projects align closely with the Obama administration’s goals; it gave 25 states and the District of Columbia $6 million to apply for ‘Race to the Top’ grants. “There’s definitely a convergence of ideas,” said Vicki Phillips, who oversees the foundation’s elementary- and secondary-education grants, “not just between us and the administration but between us and many other reform-minded people who have been working on these issues for a long time.”
    Click here to read more…

    2.  Newark Mayor Cory Booker announces 4-day work week for non-uniformed public employees
    Newark Mayor Cory Booker today said he is putting in motion a plan to put the non-uniformed public employees of New Jersey’s largest city on a four-day work week, the equivalent of imposing a 20 percent pay cut in a time of economic malaise.
    Click here to read more…

    3.  Mayor Dawn Zimmer plans meetings to discuss development in Hoboken
    Continuing the successful model of last night’s community meeting in Hoboken to discuss safety improvements along Newark Street, the city will also hold additional meetings to solicit the public’s feedback about redevelopment in the city,
    Click here to read more…

    4.  It begins with a DRUMM – Reunion of musicians turns into nonprofit to revive musical training in Trenton schools
    When a group of musicians with Trenton roots held their first reunion in the Baltimore area four years ago, the main goal was just to jam together and do some catching up.  But when they turned the annual reunion into a free public show at Cadwalader Park last year, they also started talking about doing something more for their city, and for the once vibrant music scene that had nurtured them.
    Click here to read more…

    5.  Newark community development workers will be ‘classified’
    The employees of the community development department will be considered “classified” after a Newark City Council vote Monday.  The vote means that they do not serve “at-will” of the mayor. If they are terminated, they have an ability to appeal to the city’s civil service commission.
    Click here to read more…

    6.  Big drop-off in NY banks’ community lending
    Despite a 10% jump in deposits, New York’s largest banks substantially cut the amount of loans and services targeted to low- and moderate-income communities between 2007 and 2008, according to a report released last Thursday by a local advocacy group.  Among the 17 largest commercial, savings and wholesale banks in the five boroughs, there was a 20.2%, or $560 million, drop-off in community development lending; a 24.2%, or $1.3 billion, cut in multi-family lending; and a decrease in the share of branches located in low-income communities to 8.8% from 9.3%.
    Click here to read more…

    7.  New Jersey Community Capital surpasses $110 million milestone in financing
    New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC) of Trenton—a non-profit loan fund that supports community-based enterprises—recently surpassed $110 million in financing leveraged for the expansion of charter schools throughout New Jersey. This milestone highlights the organization’s dedication to providing financing solutions to high quality charter schools that have the power to enhance the lives of children in many underserved communities. Since 2004, the organization has closed or participated in more than $47 million in charter school loans, leveraging over $110 million in development costs for 17 charter school campuses across New Jersey.
    Click here to read more…

    8.  Nonprofits: Open Up Your Data, Become a Platform Organization
    The role of nonprofits as a middleman is changing. The donors can more often support a specific project rather than the organization as a whole. Nowadays the donors can also easily have a direct contact with the beneficiaries.  By turning into open platform organizations that facilitate collaboration in open spaces and radically shortening the distance between the donor and the beneficiary.   By opening up their processes – letting donors have a say where the funds go and what kind of projects are being supported.
    Click here to read more…

    9.  Cap-and-Trade Bill Would Make Housing Less Affordable
    In addition to the devastating economic effects of cap and trade, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733)—introduced by Senators John Kerry (D–MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I–CT)—would likely lead to the same conditions that caused the housing bubble of a few years ago.  It would do this by providing financial incentives to the federally funded metropolitan planning organizations to shift transportation resources and passengers away from automobiles to public transit and forms of non-motorized transportation such as walking and bicycles. The bill further suggests that these be accomplished through “zoning and other land use regulations” that lead to a more crowded living environment. In turn, these communities of higher population density would be more amenable to forms of transportation common in the decades prior to the invention of the internal combustion engine.
    Click here to read more…

    10.  7 Questions Washington Must Answer to Fix Housing Policy
    With President Obama signing the big financial regulation bill today, Washington will feel like it’s done enough for a while when it comes to making new rules for banks and Wall Street. Next on its ‘to do’ financial policy checklist is housing. After all, the biggest hole in the Dodd-Frank bill was a complete lack of reform for the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
    Click here to read more…