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Newark Developer Breaks Ground on Affordable Housing, As Mayor Pushes For Local Investment

Ang Santos

Construction is underway on a new affordable housing development in Newark's south ward.  It's part of Mayor Ras Baraka's push for residents to invest in the city.

Newark born Siree Morris with the development company Ascension Capital Partners, is the local face behind "The Lofts at Avon", two affordable three-family homes being built on former city-owned vacant lots.

“I think this right here is something that can be replicated throughout every ward in our city so that everyone can have an equitable stake in the development of our city,” Morris said.  “In order for us to remain here and to have a realistic stake and influence in our community, we have to own property.  We have to provide jobs and become the economic engine.  Not just talk about it but be about it.”

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says the city has over 1,000 other vacant lots he hopes to get into the hands of residents.

“I don’t’ think we have to attract developers.  I think they are here,” Baraka said.  “This is an example of Newarkers pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, beginning to lay down stakes in the city, buying property, building property, and getting people to live in property at affordable rates.”

Ascension Capital Partners is working on several other Newark housing developments including the city’s first multi-family shipping container home.