Measures to mitigate vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed properties

Mayor Ras J. Baraka announced this week that the Newark Municipal Council voted Wednesday night to enact an ordinance to reduce the harmful impact of vacant, abandoned, deteriorated, and foreclosed properties on the city’s neighborhoods. The ordinance penalizes vacant lot owners whose lots remain vacant year after year without development. At the same meeting, the Council passed a resolution to transfer to the Land Bank ownership of 89 vacant lots and deteriorated residential properties.

 “Vacant, abandoned, and blighted properties cause a cycle of neighborhood deterioration and damage residents’ quality of life,” said Mayor Baraka. This legislation will help stop neighborhood blight and LLC speculators who buy up Newark vacant and abandoned properties, then hold them for years without development. Newarkers are grateful to the Council for passing such strong, far-reaching, legislation to preserve and enhance our neighborhoods.”

 The registration and fee requirements are designed to prevent abandoned properties and mortgagees from allowing properties to be abandoned, neglected, or left unsupervised. The property registration requirements mandate that abandoned or vacant property owners maintain a place in New Jersey where the person responsible for maintaining and securing the property can be contacted and violation notices or other legal filings be received. The property must be secured against unauthorized entry and contact information for the responsible person must be posted on a sign in front of the property. These rules will prevent abandoned or vacant property owners from vanishing and hiding behind uncontactable LLCs, often registered outside of our state.