NJ.com is reporting that rapper-turned-movie-star Queen Latifah (born Dana Owens) is planning a $14 million dollar project to build affordable housing in her hometown of Newark.
Latifah, a co-president of BlueSugar Corporation, is working with GonSosa Development on the project, which is anchored outside of the city’s downtown, spanning the West and South wards.
The project includes 20 three-family town homes and a three-story mixed-used building with an additional 16 units. Plans for the building include a fitness center and 1,900 square feet of commercial space that will be rented to nonprofits. The 60 units in the townhouses will be market rate; the 16 units in the building will be affordable.
The hip-hop icon, has dedicated much of her time and resources to philanthropic efforts. Last year, she helped women crack the glass ceiling in Hollywood by funding and producing two independent projects created by women, reported The Shadow League.
She has become a bona fide movie star, after appearing in the acclaimed TV show Living Single in the 1990s, with such roles as Matron Mama Morton in the musical Chicago, and was nominated to receive an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her outstanding performance. She has also starred in Hairspray (2007), Secret Life of Bees (2008) and Mad Money (2008), and acted alongside critically acclaimed actors such as Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning, Diane Keaton, Katie Holmes, Ice Cube, Will Ferrell, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, and many more.
Queen Latifah is also a sought-after spokesperson and ambassador for several leading corporate brands. She served as the face of Cover Girl’s makeup for women of color with the company’s Queen Collection of cosmetics.
In 2016, she partnered with Ahold USA, one of the world’s largest food retail groups, to create a collection of hand-picked, sustainably-sourced floral arrangements.
And recently, Owens was honored in AT&T’s “Dream In Black” Black Future Month — a celebration of people who are making history, now, while shaping the new future. Black Future Month highlights inspiring black creators including Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer, Reginae Carter, Terrence J, Phoebe Robinson, DeVon Franklin, Zendaya, Van Jones, Vic Mensa, Lena Waithe, Omari Hardwick, Jamil Smith, Angela Yee, Baron Davis, and a slew of others.