The Summit Civic Foundation had its origins in 1956 when the mayor of Summit appointed a citizen's committee to solve the problem of providing adequate housing for Summit residents who were displaced from their homes after the city determined that their housing was substandard. The Summit Civic Foundation, was formed as a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of providing adequate housing, primarily for those citizens who had been displaced by the city's actions. The Foundation purchased the property behind Summit High School on Weaver Street and Dennis Place and constructed 24 duplex units of two or three bedrooms. It was funded by 3%, 30-year bonds which were sold to the public and by three mortgages issued by financial institutions, all of which have been paid in full. A New York Times article dated March 20, 1960 tells the story of what happened.
Today, the Foundation continues to provide affordable housing to 24 families in Summit along with the Summit Housing Authority which provides affordable housing to families and separate housing for seniors.