Paterson is the largest city in Passaic County and the third most populous city in New Jersey. As of the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) five-year estimates, Paterson’s population is 145,233. Citywide, Paterson’s population is 60.8 percent Hispanic or Latino, 26.1 percent Black, 8.5 percent white, 4.6 percent Asian, and 3.9 percent other.
The Paterson BHEC team’s geographic focus is on the Northside Neighborhood (part of the 1st Ward) and 4th ward of the city. These neighborhoods are historic, diverse, and primarily residential areas interspersed with neighborhood commercial corridors struggling due to abandonment, disinvestment, and underdevelopment.
Key issues facing these neighborhoods include lack of job opportunities, difficulty attracting and retaining businesses, high vacancy rates, poor quality housing, rising rental housing prices, crime, poor infrastructure, and poor health outcomes. The Paterson BHEC team is poised to build on cross-sector planning efforts in the city that already have impacted Paterson’s development and political environments. The Paterson team’s work will leverage recent successes, elevating lessons learned and best practices, and building upon current cross-sector products and financial investments to create frameworks and strategies to support any Paterson-based supportive development project moving forward.
Several previous planning efforts inform work in the Northside Neighborhood and Fourth Ward Redevelopment Area, including the City’s Master Plan (2014), Fourth Ward Redevelopment Plan (2015), Fourth Ward Strategic Development Plan (2018), the Invest Health initiative (2016-2018), and the Northside Neighborhood Plan (2020-2021). The Paterson Master Plan, published in 2014, established a blueprint for the city to capitalize on existing assets and evolve existing land use policies and ordinances to facilitate the improvement of housing, transportation, economic development, sustainability, and open space. The Paterson Fourth Ward Redevelopment Plan, published in 2017, built on goals set by the Master Plan and identifies the following goals for the revitalization of the Fourth Ward: assemble parcels for larger development projects, reduce blight, provide quality new housing options, create a cohesive commercial district, promote mixed-use development, and increase opportunities for homeownership. The Northside Neighborhood Plan has identified similar goals.