Camden Home Improvement Program expands

October 06, 2008

In late September, the city of Camden, NJ began accepting applications from homeowners in neighborhoods in certain parts of North, East, and Central Camden to participate in the city's innovative Camden Home Improvement Program. Created by leaders from PICO affiliate Camden Churches Organized for People (CCOP), the CHIP program gives out "forgivable loans" of up to $20,000 for home repair projects. These loans burn off every year, and after five years disappear altogether, as long as the homeowner stays in their home.

The program began after members of CCOP noted that the $175 million in economic recovery money that Camden received in 2002 had not done enough to improve the city's deteriorating neighborhoods. The city first began distributing money in December 2006 in South and East Camden, and is now expanding to new parts of the city. Already, over 127 homeowners have received grants, and the program anticipates giving out up to $8 million to over 300 homeowners across the city.