Property Owners to be held Accountable for Neglected Vacant Properties
Jersey City Targets Repeat Offenders to Keep Neighborhoods Clean and Safe
JERSEY CITY – Mayor Steven M. Fulop and the Jersey City Council will put forth aWednesday night to authorize issuing liens against 28 properties that have failed to be maintained by property owners despite multiple warnings. These properties, proactively cleaned by the City, have been identified as potential safety and health hazards to the community.
“Property owners are going to be held responsible and accountable when they fail to maintain their lots,” said Mayor Fulop. “This is a fair approach not only for the property owners, but also to the residents, as the City is spending money to clean these vacant and neglected lots. This is ultimately a safety issue, and we’ll continue to clean lots after property owners fail to invest in the quality of our neighborhoods.”
According to the City’s vacant property ordinances, the City will first issue a notice. If a property owner fails to clear the lot of brush, litter, and other debris, the City cleans it and charge the costs to the owner.
“The cleanup is an additional cost to our residents, and the DPW has had to devote time, resources and manpower to do the job of absentee property owners,” said Ward A Councilwoman Denise Ridley. “We’re not looking to punish anyone, we’re just looking to keep public safety at the forefront.”
There are currently over 400 lots identified as vacant on the City’s Vacant Lot Registry under the Housing Preservation Office. Out of those hundreds, the 28 lots identified in the Resolution are being singled out for being repeat offenders after they have continuously violated the City’s ordinance despite multiple warnings. Due to the hazardous conditions of these lots, the Department of Public Works was then sent to each of these locations to clean up.
“After failing to comply, these 28 properties were cleaned by the Department of Public Works and a bill was sent to the owner,” said Mayor Fulop. “By holding them accountable, the hope is that in the future the property owners will do the work they’re supposed to do in the first place.”
“Another issue with these types of neglected properties is that they can be a fire hazard,” said Ward B Councilwoman Mira Prinz-Arey. “Unfortunately these repeat offenders now have to be singled out in order for the City to protect neighboring homes and collect money owed to us.”
Failure to pay for cleaning the lot will now result in a lien on the property. The City will plan to issue liens in these circumstances moving forward.