Nearly 2 dozen blocks will be rebuilt, restored in Newark

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- The mayor of Newark is pooling together minority and women small developers to help restore nearly two dozen blocks of New Jersey's biggest city.

Nearly 50 properties are being rebuilt and the process is also creating jobs and opportunities.

A home on South 16th Street is developer Jamilah Muhammed's latest project.

Born and raised in Newark, Muhammad is getting her chance to shine.

"To be a woman and a minority and I have this opportunity is an honor," Muhammed said.

She is teaming up with city and The West Side Neighborhood Development Plan to redevelop 21 blocks to build low-incoming housing.

Forrest Drennen has lived on the street for 25 years and he welcomes the construction.

"It's better to have neighbors around, and hopefully she'll get some good tenants," Drennen said.

City officials say the area was chosen because of its troubled past with abandoned and neglected properties, vacant lots and foreclosures.

At the same time, the area has good mix of residential and commercial properties, allowing for redevelopment.

Mayor Ras Baraka held a virtual community meeting to let residents know about the redevelopment.

"We are addressing a long-time problem so that people that they know that are in their community that look like them are out here working hard and developing, not sitting around on their hands, they are engaged and involved and they feel like, 'Well I see somebody that's doing it, that means I can do it too,'" Baraka said.

One home at a time, the community is building an opportunity for families in need.

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