In an effort to help reform East Orange, the city is reportedly cleaning out 700 abandoned properties and giving jobs to local residents.

East Orange launched the Neighborhood Clean Up Initiative earlier this month that will continue over the next 12 weeks.

A crew of 10 people and two supervisors have been hired by the city to clean up the vacant properties. The initiative is being funded by a $50,000 Community Block Development grant.

The 700 properties have been abandoned for several years and are plagued by high-growing weeds on lawns.

City officials say that unkept, abandoned properties bring down property values in neighborhoods. They hope the initiative will bring in more residents and businesses into East Orange.