UPDATED JUNE 22 AT 11 AM
UPDATED JUNE 23
Updated June 26
BY BILL CLEARY/CNBNEWS.NET
A SAD STORY-- We bumped into some old friends recently and were surprised to find out that they had moved out of Gloucester City. The couple, who were life-long-residents, abandoned their home in the 300 unit block of Morris Street, because they couldn’t sell their house. Jack and Diane, not their real names, had lived in the house for 39 years. Two years ago they put the house up for sale with an asking price of $90,000. Over the next two years they kept lowering the price. When it didn’t sell at $40,000 they decided it was time to move on. Diane said, “There are four empty homes in our block that are boarded up because thieves kept
“Imagine being the guy living next door to that and trying to sit in his backyard having a burger.”
~Gloucester City Mayor William James
October 3, 2012/Courier Posty\
In an effort to battle the blight, Gloucester City has joined the Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society which will provide a program that will allow qualified families to buy homes instead of rent. The plan calls for rehabbing and building new homes in target areas on the west side of Broadway. The program will begin in the King Street and Market Street area.
Three years ago we suggested an idea that resembles the city's latest plan. From the September 2010 article:
Sell the empty lot (s) to a builder for a $1 with the understanding that construction would have to be completed within a certain period. The finished product could be sold at a reduced price since the ground was free. And the buyer would have to live in the property for five years. I wrote recently about the Beatrice Nebraska's Homestead Act. Their idea seems perfect for our community.
And as I mentioned a few days ago Gloucester City has been talking about a similar program for over a year. In an article dated May 9, 2009 posted on CNB Mayor James stated –
"We have identified all of the City owned vacant lots and in an effort to increase the value of these parcels and to create new tax ratable we are having conversations with residential developers to generate an interest in an in-fill housing program in the west side of town. These properties have sat for years and years and right now collect nothing but trash, overgrown weeds and abandoned vehicles. This can not continue to be the norm and we feel as though this initiative shows promise," said Mayor James. Continue to read
Here is a link to the list of 224 tax free properties/abandon properties and empty lots in Gloucester City. Source of information Gloucester City tax records.
Included in that list is the Chatham Square apartments that the city purchased in 2008 for $5 million. The city hired a Philadelphia developer to rehab the apartments into townhouses. The contractor borrowed $1 million from the city’s UDAG program to pay for the project known as Meadowbrook Mews. Not one of those townhouses have been sold. In the meantime the city is collecting rent from tenants who are living in apartments located in the back section of Chatham Square.
AN INSIDERS REPORT ON THE CAMDEN PD--Benjamin Vautier, a former Camden City police officer, has written a book titled “Broken” about the inside workings of the Camden New Jersey Police Department during the time he was employed as a cop.
Vautier says, “This is a true story given from first-hand accounts that compelled me to speak out after losing faith in a system that I fought so hard to uphold with honor and integrity. A broken system that allowed Ahmad Cherry to walk away free from facing any charges for shooting my brother, Dan. A broken system where investigators failed to rectify the lies on all of the reports that enabled Cherry to keep his freedom. It has also allowed the officer who failed to do his job on that fateful night to walk away with a full disability pension.”
“A broken system where supervisors can bring false charges against you just so they can fire you. A broken system where the head of Internal Affairs openly admits he was ordered to fire people without investigating them. A broken system where corrupt officers would rob drug dealers, plant drugs on people and commit home invasions on people, taking their freedom from them. For me, the system will forever be BROKEN.”
The book is available here on Amazon.com.
Gloucester City Police on Special Housing Assignment Check 144 Vacant Properties