Empowering Municipalities and Sandy Survivors Creates Strong Communities
Senate committee clears land bank, Sandy,  foreclosure, and tax lien bills


The New Jersey Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee passed several pieces of legislation supported by the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network) today. The bills addressing land banks, Superstorm Sandy, foreclosure, and tax liens now move to a vote before the full Senate.
"The committee addressed a variety of proposals but at their core, each one improves New Jersey communities," said Staci Berger, president and CEO of the Network. "Senator Sweeney's Sandy bill, brings transparency and accountability to the rebuilding process, allowing for fair access to aid and helping Sandy devastated families recover."

The committee approved bills that allow municipalities greater control over vacant and abandoned properties, holding creditors accountable for those that fall into disarray. The land banking bill is modeled after successful efforts in New York state and a similar bill that was recently signed in to law in Philadelphia. A companion bill is scheduled to be voted on by the full Assembly this Thursday. The committee also advanced a bill to give municipalities greater control over tax lien sales, so that they can be managed locally for neighborhood revitalization efforts.  

"New Jersey needs stronger policies to address the foreclosure crisis and revitalize vacant and abandoned properties," said Berger. "These proposals create stronger communities by allowing municipalities to partner with nonprofits to address problem properties. The committee’s work empowers municipalities and provides them with tools to prevent and address blight that can sweep across neighborhoods. Whether they are rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy or the economic crisis that preceded it, New Jersey families and neighborhoods are struggling to recover."  The Housing The Housing and Community Development Network supports New Jersey’s community development sector, collaborating with more than 250 members including Community Development Corporations and other organizations to create affordable homes, expand economic opportunities, and build strong communities. For more information on the Network, visit www.hcdnnj.org.

For more information: Nina Arce
Housing & Community Development Network of NJ
(609) 393-3752 x12
[email protected]
Twitter: @hcdnnj
Facebook:  facebook.com/hcdnnj