HEAT ALERT

Heat advisory continues in New Jersey as highs approach near 100 degrees

Trenton targets 28 abandoned homes on one block for demolition

The mayor says Trenton is using state and federal grants to pay for the project.

Matt Trapani

Jul 12, 2023, 12:29 AM

Updated 345 days ago

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The city of Trenton is targeting 28 abandoned homes on a single block for demolition later this month. It’s part of Mayor Reed Gusciora’s goal of demolishing 1,000 abandoned properties across the city.
The handful of residents on Sanford Street who will remain in their homes say that this is welcome news.
“This ain’t no place for nobody to live in. Nobody,” says resident Jack Robinson.
Gusciora says that this is probably the worse block in the city.
“This is a prime example of a whole block that by and large can be taken down and create a better opportunity for development,” he says.
He says that the homes slated to be demolished are not worth saving and must be taken down.
Many of the homes have been abandoned for decades and have become dens for the homeless and drug users, which residents say can present its own set of issues.
“They defecate – pee, poop – all over the place. It’s crazy,” says resident Lynnette Leggett-Bennett. “Now I have gates on the windows…to keep my kids and me safe from people breaking in my house.”
Leggett-Bennett says that her kids must play in the backyard and are not allowed out front.
“Rehabbing is much more expensive than demolishing and rebuilding new,” the mayor says.
Councilwoman Jennifer Williams says that she does not think that the state is doing enough to help.
“I think the state could be doing more,” Williams says. “The State House is actually part of the North Ward...Couldn’t be more different. It’s a world away.”
The project will cost $500,000 for demolition and another $500,000 for cleanup. The mayor says Trenton is using state and federal grants to pay for that cost.


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