Shaming land owners into action

City to fine, seize worst abandoned properties

The city has released a list of 40 abandoned properties that have been deemed the worst in Jersey City.
Mayor Jerramiah T. Healy said the list was released to shame the owners into improving their properties – or else.
“We want these property owners to know that we are serious about holding them accountable. And if they continue to allow their properties to be an eyesore for the community, we will utilize the means available to us to acquire and remediate these properties,” Healy said.
Some of the properties on the list, he added, receive a lot complaints from neighbors and are the sites of criminal activity.

Some of the properties on the list threaten to undermine the city’s ongoing urban redevelopment and rehabilitation projects.
While a few of the properties on the list sit next to empty lots, most are sandwiched between occupied homes and apartment buildings that are well-maintained.
One downtown property that made the list, 227 Montgomery St., is adjacent to a lovely low-rise that had flower pots on its front steps Tuesday afternoon. The overgrown weeds from another property, 331 1/2 Seventh St., are a sharp contrast to the clean porches of neighboring homes on the street.
Both 227 Montgomery and 331 1/2 Seventh St., which are owned by L & J Properties LLC, have doors and windows that are boarded up.
Some of the properties on the city’s list threaten to undermine ongoing redevelopment and rehabilitation projects in some neighborhoods, a spokeswoman for the city said.
According to Healy’s office, the New Jersey Abandoned Properties Act allows cities to reclaim neglected abandoned properties through various means, including expedited foreclosure on properties that have unpaid property tax bills.
The law defines “abandoned property” as any property that hasn’t been occupied for six month and which also meets other criteria, including: The property is in need of rehabilitation; rehabilitation work was started, but was then discontinued; back property taxes are owed; or the property is determined to be a nuisance by the public officer.
The city has allocated funding to the Department of Housing, Economic Development, and Commerce’s Division of Housing Code Enforcement from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund and other sources, to use if the city moves to seize any of the listed properties.
City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill said property owners will have about 12 months to rehabilitate their properties before the city takes action.
E-mail E. Assata Wright at

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