A New Jersey United States Senator is pushing a plan to help revitalize distressed communities in the Garden State and across the nation.

Flickr User Chris Dlugosz

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez has introduced his Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, which calls for $350 million in competitive grants to support local neighborhood transformation plans that address affordable housing, and also to improve access to transportation, schools and jobs.

“If we are going to truly transform our most distressed neighborhoods, we must take a comprehensive approach which recognizes the need to connect affordable housing with good schools, good jobs and good transportation,” said Menendez.

The Choice Neighborhoods legislation was first funded by Congress in 2010, but the Initiative put forth by Senator Menendez adds stability for potential grant applicants, by authorizing the program for five years. It also nearly triples the level of funding available to fund worthy projects over the last two years combined ($110 million).