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Irvington receives $600,000 to demolish 50 unsafe buildings

Cyril Josh Barker | 7/28/2016, 11:17 a.m.
Irvington Township recently received a 0 percent interest loan of $600,000 from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and ...
Irvington, N.J.

Irvington Township recently received a 0 percent interest loan of $600,000 from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs and Gov. Chris Christie to demolish 50 unsafe buildings in Irvington.

Reports indicate that the abandoned buildings are a result of many foreclosed homes. Many homeowners were victims of subprime loans, leading to the foreclosures. Abandoned buildings are also a haven for crime in Irvington, serving as hideaways for drug dealers and users.

“This will allow us to demolish at least 50 more dilapidated and abandoned buildings,” said Mayor Tony Vauss. “Since I have been mayor, we have taken down 26 such properties. Doing away with these properties has a positive impact on our neighborhoods and the township as a whole. Once they are down, the area becomes safer and cleaner and opens the way for development.”

The funds are part of the state’s Urban and Rural Center Unsafe Building Bond Loan Fund, which established a $20 million loan program for the purpose of providing financing for the demolition and disposal of unsafe buildings in eligible municipalities and urban and rural centers.

“On behalf of the Township of Irvington, I thank Commissioner Charles Richman of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, as well as Governor Christie, for the $600,000,” said Vauss.

The funds were part of a competitive program offered by DCA. Funding is made available through rounds of applications, and the Department notifies eligible municipalities when funds are sufficient to allow for awards. This round is the fifth round of funding.

In 2014, 19 abandoned houses were demolished by the township.