The Camden team’s geographic focus is on the Parkside neighborhood, a predominantly Black neighborhood in southeast Camden. Parkside is an under-resourced neighborhood that has experienced decades of disinvestment which has resulted in deficient social, economic, and health outcomes for its residents. The Parkside neighborhood also has many assets that the community can leverage. Parkside is home to several of the city’s public schools, including Camden High, which is currently undergoing a $133 million construction project and will serve more than 1,200 students. Haddon Avenue is known as “Medical Mile,” with Virtua Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and Cooper University Hospital. The neighborhood connects to Farnham Park, which has 72 acres of green space with trails overlooking the Cooper River.
The BHEC Camden team aims to “elevate community health through quality housing, a stronger commercial corridor, increased healthy food access, revitalized green spaces, strengthened community ties, and better educational outcomes.” The team has identified a multi-pronged approach to community and economic development, including wealth creation through affordable homes for-sale, mixed-use and mixed-income development, small business development and entrepreneurship, and healthy food access. The team’s built environment pipeline includes single-family homes for-sale and affordable multifamily rental housing as well as commercial redevelopment projects (e.g., office and retail space), a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), and educational facilities. The BHEC Camden team has expressed a desire to influence the city’s development approvals process, create better alignment among stakeholders, and influence capital resource flows to the Parkside neighborhood that prioritize residents’ needs.