Queen Latifah Is Building $14Million Affordable Housing Project In Her Native Newark


By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

Housing prices are always increasing. It’s almost getting out of reach for normal people to rent apartments. According to a study done on the housing conditions of Newark, it was found out that it has a whopping $1200 – $1400 per month rental range, which was previously unheard of but has become quite commonplace there. Newark has turned out to be costly and one should do something about affordable housing. At least, the people living Newark require some kind of a savior.

Enter – the pop singer, rapper and producer, Queen Latifah. Most of us know her and love her to pieces. Now, the Queen has taken up the role of a developer too. The Queen, who is a co-president of Blue Sugar Corporation, is going to invest about $14 million to develop affordable and market-rate units, pairing up with the Gon Sosa Development based in Jersey.

The project involves the construction of about 23 family townhomes and a three-story mixed-used building which will have a fitness center, 16  affordable housing and commercial space that has been planned to be rented out for non-profit work. The plan is that the apartments will be priced as per the income of the person and there are certain market-rate units which will be going for $1,800 per month.  

According to the spokesperson, the project plan was not this one. It was actually planned that there will be two mixed-income buildings and around 115 affordable units. However, the state denied the low-income tax credit to the developer which led to the increase of market-rate housing. The two developers involved in this project believe that it is necessary that affordable housing is provided to everyone regardless of whether they have the financial capability or not. According to Cristina Pinzon, both of them have a strong connection in Newark and they are quite aware as to how difficult it is for the citizens of the community to go about their lives paying that much rent. It was necessary that someone stepped in to take care of it.

The project is yet to be named but the renderings already show the townhouses connected with the alternating bays of wood and gray brick entrance area. The site plan suggests that the work will start on a block which borders South 17th Street and Springfield Avenue.

The construction is scheduled to start this summer. December 2020 is the time that 60 units of the housing will get over. By 2021, the entire building is expected to be completed.

In the previous year, Shaquille O’Neill, who is also a Newark resident and an NBA star, went back to Newark to invest in a high-rise building. As per Aisha Glover who is the CEO of Newark Alliance, they are all talking to many celebrities so that this inclusive project can be brought to fruition.

Let’s hope that the dream of affordable housing can come true. All hail, the Queen.

Image credit: Blue Sugar & GS Developers 123RF

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