Revamped community housing scheme shows the way

A children’s library and playground are the jewels of a New Jersey housing complex revamped for a community’s needs.

Often in the headlines for shootings and burglaries, Georgia King Village in Newark used to be somewhere to avoid. That has now all changed, following a two-year makeover costing $9 million.

Safe space

Parents with baby buggies now gather around picnic tables, and watch as their children enjoy the new playground facilities. And if the weather is bad, the youngsters can make use of the library. Once a dusty basement, it has been transformed into a safe children’s space. It’s all part of an investment by L&M Development Partners, which worked alongside local authorities and charities to stock the new library with some 3,000 books.

Since buying Georgia King Village in 2016, L&M has added dozens of new security cameras, a perimeter fence and 24-hour security. Its latest innovation has been to make free wifi available to nearly 300 residents in the two-tower complex, a rare luxury for low-income housing schemes of this type.

‘Positive impact’

Debbie Kenyon, Vice Chairman and Senior Partner at L&M, said: “The children’s library will give the youngest members of our community access to information, help develop their confidence, and instil a love of learning. As owners, we can contribute in a way that goes beyond housing and working together with residents of Georgia King Village, we hope to usher in changes and shape this project in a way that has a positive impact on people’s lives.”

Author: Simon Weedy

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