One of the most influential entertainers of our time and a true Hip Hip icon, Queen Latifah, has big plans to give back in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey. The Queen is investing in a $14 million housing project that will bring affordable housing to the city.
The affordable housing project is to include 20 three-family town homes and a three-story building with an additional 16 units. They plan to include a fitness center and 1,900 square feet of commercial space that will be rented to nonprofits in the building. The units in the townhouses will be market rate, while the units in the building will be affordable.
Latifah is the co-President of BlueSugar Corporation and is developing the property alongside GonSosa Development. The $14 million project is expected to break ground in the summer. The housing development is expected to be fully complete by December 2021. Prices for the market rate units is to start around $1,800, and the affordable housing units will be income-based.
According to Cristina Pinzon, a spokeswoman for the developers, “they understand how difficult it is to make ends meet for many residents and want to be part of the solution. They remain dedicated to making life better in communities like Newark,” she said in a statement.
Queen Latifah is no stranger to humanitarian work. She is known to be a champion of charity. From AIDS and cancer research to youth and LGBT programs, Queen Latifah can be found supporting the cause. She definitely uses her star power for the greater good. One cause that may be closest to her heart is the Lancelot H. Owens Scholarship Foundation. The foundation was started by her family after the passing of her brother (who was killed in a motorcycle accident) as a way to honor him and the support Lance gave to his community. The foundation provides financial aid to students from struggling neighborhoods to help them become capable leaders and offer them promising futures through education.
Queen Latifah has been quoted at fundraising conference saying, “Giving, to me, starts in your heart and then it extends to your purse and your wallet […] to me, when I give, I feel so good […] I know I made a difference in someone’s life, even if they haven’t met me. It’s an opportunity to bless someone else.”