Woodbridge Cracking Down on Abandoned Properties
Woodbridge, NJ – Woodbridge is beginning a township-wide initiative to identify abandoned properties, locate the owners, and finally, return the properties to productive use.
The Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency has notified the owners of 35 abandoned and/or vacant Woodbridge Township properties that they have 45 days to respond with a plan to sell, rehabilitate or otherwise return the property to productive use.
“The economic downturn of the past several years has resulted in the unfortunate increase in foreclosures, with a resulting uptick in abandoned and/or vacant properties in many of our residential neighborhoods,” Mayor John McCormac said. “Beyond lowering the value of neighboring homes, abandoned properties cause significant losses in property tax revenue … and represent a real safety issue.”
The township wants to renovate certain properties and turn them back into market-rate units.
The Woodbridge Township Municipal Council recently authorized the Woodbridge Redevelopment Agency to act as the entity to acquire, hold and dispose of abandoned/vacant properties. The Council also created the Vacant/Abandoned Property Registry that requires the owners of vacant properties to register them as such and pay the Township an annual fee.
Woodbridge will also hold creditors who file foreclosure on mortgage properties accountable for maintaining the security and appearance of the property during the foreclosure action and thereafter.
“Property inspections have uncovered violations that include overcrowded and potentially illegal rooming/boarding houses and multi-family dwellings, accumulated trash and debris … and residential properties being used for commercial purposes,” Mayor McCormac said.
Woodbridge residents are encouraged to report vacant/abandoned properties or property maintenance and housing violations that negatively impact neighborhoods to the Public Works Hotline at 732-726-2325. All complaints will be investigated and all information