112 to 116 South Center Street, Orange, NJ
The three vacant sites once included two dilapidated vacant homes that required demolition. These deteriorated properties were seriously eroding neighborhood quality of life and diminishing the value of surrounding homes.
In 2007, HANDS identified this location as being detrimental to the community because of the frequent squatters, crime, fires, and other risks. As so often is the case with abandoned properties the obstacles to gaining control of the site were primarily legal in nature. Various legal impediments stood in the way of gaining clear title before development could take place. These properties were owned by multiple estates which were being administered without wills. There were approximately 150 potential beneficiaries who needed to be located and a myriad of tax liens and judgments which needed to be cleared. All these issues involved lengthy processes before clear title could be gained. HANDS worked closely with the representatives of the estate and led efforts to relocate the squatters, clear up the liens and judgments, and manage the demolition process. Despite the challenges, the property closed. This new development will help to uplift the neighborhood.
HANDS offered these homes for sale for $210,000, which is affordable to moderate-income home buyer and well within the market for the area. These affordable prices were achieved by the use of HOME Funds from the County of Essex Division of Housing and Community Development and NeighborWorks Capital Grant funds. HANDS partnered with NJ Citizen Action and HomeCorp to provide homebuyer counseling, so new residents are adequately prepared for successful homeownership.