Paterson proposes plan to take over, sell abandoned homes

A plan is in the works to fix up abandoned houses that have become eyesores to neighborhoods throughout Paterson.

There are many abandoned houses in Paterson.

There are many abandoned houses in Paterson. (Credit: News 12 New Jersey)

PATERSON - A plan is in the works to fix up abandoned houses that have become eyesores to neighborhoods throughout Paterson.

There are many abandoned houses in Paterson. Some of the homes have been vacant for a few months. Others are crumbling from years of decay. 

Neighbors say they are tired of looking at them. 

"It looks disgusting," says Maria Greene. "It makes the whole neighborhood look bad." 

The homes can also be breeding grounds for crime.

Paterson city leaders are considering a new plan to address the issue.  Under a proposed ordinance, the city would have the power to take over the properties and sell them to developers.  The goal is to turn the homes into livable, affordable housing.

"It is an initiative that I think is sorely needed in this community if we're going to begin turning the city around," says Paterson City Councilman Kenneth Morris.

Officials say the plan would also solve the lost property taxes problem in the city. The abandoned homes provide no revenue for Paterson and actually end up costing the city money. 

Morris says the city will carefully screen developers to make sure they have the money to complete the rehab projects. 

The Paterson City Council will have a final vote on the plan next week.

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