Final phase of voluntary home demolitions begins in Toms River

The program has been going on since Feb. 7 in an effort to remove homes and other buildings severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The program has been going on since Feb. 7 in an effort to remove homes and other buildings severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy. (2/22/14)

TOMS RIVER - The final phase of voluntary home demolitions approved by FEMA is underway in Toms River.

The program has been going on since Feb. 7 in an effort to remove homes and other buildings severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy. 

"The value of the property is going to go up again,” said Salvatore Longo, a Toms River resident.  “Right now, it looks like a ghost town."

Six homes will come down in the final phase of voluntary home demolitions. Homeowners had to apply and give consent before the work began. 

The demolished buildings have been deemed structurally unsound, unsafe and an immediate threat to public health. 

Township officials say the next step for the area will be an involuntary demolition of properties whose owners have abandoned them or have not been in communication with the township. 

Mayor Thomas Kelaher says that residents deserve a good neighborhood -- one that isn't blemished by abandoned or unsound properties.

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