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NJ SHARES & Volunteers of America Delaware Valley Expand SMART Program, Providing Rent and Mortgage Assistance to Those In Need in Atlantic & Camden Counties

NJ SHARES & Volunteers of America Delaware Valley Expand SMART Program, Providing Rent and Mortgage Assistance to Those In Need in Atlantic & Camden Counties

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CAMDEN – Volunteers of America Delaware Valley (VOADV) and New Jersey SHARES Inc. (NJ SHARES) are expanding their partnership by making their SHARES Mortgage Assistance Rent or Taxes (SMART) Program available to both Camden County and Atlantic County residents in need.

“The SMART Program is designed to help individuals facing foreclosure or eviction help steer them back on a path of self-sustained living,” explained Cheryl Stowell, CEO of NJ SHARES. “By expanding into Atlantic County, our partnership with VOADV allows us to reach even more of our New Jersey residents in need while helping to restore stability to these households after crisis.”

“Our organization provides direct, immediate services to our society’s most vulnerable populations,” explains Daniel L. Lombardo, President and CEO of VOADV. “We remain committed to providing critical assistance to those facing potential homelessness, guiding them on a path towards stable, independent living. The expansion of the SMART Program allows us to do just that, offering Atlantic and Camden County residents access to this critical resource in uncertain times.”

The SMART Program provides critical funding for rent or mortgage assistance to individuals that are facing eviction or foreclosure. The program is designed to assist low-to-moderate income households in New Jersey with a combined total monthly income between 0-80 percent of the area median income for the region. Eligible households may then receive a one-time grant up to $5,000 to aide with a mortgage or rent payment.

Since May, VOADV and NJ SHARES have been administering the SMART Program with much success to individuals in need living in Camden County. The move to expand the program into Atlantic County is rooted in the desire to reach an even larger number of individuals in need who may require the financial assistance and navigational support this program provides.

With the expansion of the SMART program, individuals must be either an Atlantic County or Camden County resident and must meet the following pre-qualifications in order to be eligible for the program:

• Have a back-owed rent or mortgage that puts the household in danger of eviction or foreclosure

• Be experiencing a financial crisis, defined as a period of intense financial difficulty which the household did not create and which the household lacks the current means to overcome

• Be able to demonstrate loss due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

• Have a combined total monthly income between 0-80 percent of the area median income for the region

• Complete and submit an application, as well as all necessary supporting documentation

VOADV’s Navigational Resource Centers will continue to serve as the SMART Program’s referral source in both counties, pre-qualifying households and assisting them with the grant application process. The centers provide outreach, rapid response and homeless navigation services to the communities’ most vulnerable, at-risk individuals, including those experiencing homelessness, and offer a spectrum of services, such as treatment, housing, employment, education and legal services. Locations of these centers in each county are as follows:

• Atlantic County:

o VOADV Office – 26 S. Pennsylvania Avenue, Atlantic City, NJ 08401

• Camden County:

o VOADV Office – 1812 Federal Street, Camden, NJ 08105

o Pine Hill Police Department – 48 W 6th Avenue, Pine Hill, NJ 08021

Individual grant amounts for the SMART Program are determined by NJ SHARES based on each qualifying household’s income and available resources, and is subject to certain limitations. All SMART funds are paid directly to the landlord, court or lien holder once an application for a SMART grant has been approved.

For more information or to apply for the SMART Program, call 866-657-4273 or email njsmart@njshares.org.

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