Trenton Renewal Underway with Problem Properties Count
Community advocates to work with City officials to revitalize neighborhoods


Housing and community advocates have embarked on an effort to identify vacant and abandoned properties throughout the City of Trenton. The Trenton Neighborhood Restoration Campaign is working with city leaders to revitalize dilapidated properties by holding property owners accountable and securing more community control in Trenton’s neighborhoods.
“New leadership in the city marks an opportunity to turn Trenton’s vacant spaces into vibrant places,” said Staci Berger, president and chief executive officer of the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey (the Network). “The city has tools such as the abandoned properties ordinance to combat problem properties but have lacked the resources to compile a list. The Campaign will work with the City to compile the data needed to get these properties thriving.”

The Campaign’s efforts mark the first time a thorough, property by property assessment of vacant parcels has been done in the City of Trenton. Early results of the Campaign’s survey of 11,000 properties so far, indicate that between a fifth and a quarter of the structures citywide are vacant.  

“Productive land reuse provides tangible social and economic benefits for our communities. Restoring these spaces will increase property tax revenue, lower crime, and help Trenton flourish,” said Berger.  

The vacant and abandon properties count will assist the City of Trenton with managing problem properties using tools such as land banks and tax liens. Two bills awaiting Governor Christie’s signature would expand those tools to give municipalities greater control over the management of these properties. The land banking bill would allow municipalities to work with redevelopment entities and nonprofits to acquire and maintain these properties so they can be redeveloped or reused for long-term community benefit. The tax sale law would allow municipalities to gain control of tax delinquent properties more easily, without the need to make an upfront appropriation, and reduce the risk of properties falling into legal limbo.

The Trenton Neighborhood Restoration Campaign is a collaboration of organizations dedicated to Trenton’s renewal, including the Network, Isles, Inc., Trenton Historical Society, Beautiful Trenton, the Trenton Council of Civic Associations, Habitat for Humanity and CityWorks.

Support of the organizations working toward this effort was made possible through the generous support of the Princeton Area Community Foundation (PACF) which promotes philanthropy to advance the well-being of Mercer area communities.

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

For more information:  Nina Arce
(609) 393-3752 x1200
(609) 789-7900
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