Highlands To Get Grants to Demolish Unsafe Housing


Highlands is one of 6 towns in Monmouth county that have been accepted into a state program to demolish unwanted, unsightly and unsafe housing, according to the NJ DCA.

Highlands has historically had its share of abandoned homes. Hurricane Sandy has compounded the problem.  The issue since Sandy of the down spiraling of property values, rodents, critters, high grass and criminal activity isn’t specific to Highlands but has proven to be problematic all over the bay shore.

Earlier this year, Gov. Chris Christie’s administration made $15 million in federal money available to cover the costs of razing Sandy-damaged buildings through the Unsafe Structure Demolition Program.

This is actually progress. Hopefully the initiative will begin sooner than later, as to alleviate the emotional impact of residents who have to view the abandoned homes day after day.  When properties remain untouched still after Sandy, it gives a feeling of hopelessness to its neighbors who do live there, it’s just a feeling of, “are we ever going to get out of this?”

 

12 thoughts on “Highlands To Get Grants to Demolish Unsafe Housing

  1. Angus

    I know I would sue the shit out of the town if they demolished my place. If its bank owned it might work

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  2. Don Ryan

    I live next to three homes that have bin abandoned since I live here (7 years). The owners just don’t care about the properties. They do nothing with the properties! No maintenance at all… You can imagine what they look like after all they have bin through. Here’s the crazy thing. One has actually paid there taxes (property )not sewer. These houses are in such disrepair they can’t be salvaged. But we get to look and smell them! That isn’t the worst of it, it’s the houses that are being occupied that look just like the abandoned ones! Some are owned by apsent landlords who could care less about who they rent to or what the neighbors think. I recently was able to get a birds eye view of my neighborhood from a balcony. I was shocked at how crappy this place looks! Mogadishu came to mind. I have lived in all kinds of neighborhoods in my life. Run down poor ones in Hudson county to nice ones In bergen and Monmouth county. But I have never seen such a hopeless town like this one! I just don’t get it! This town has the potential to be a beautiful place. Where is the pride? It doesn’t take money to go outside and remove the trash from your front yard, cut back weeds before they become trees and clean the mold from your siding! The town powers to be also need to help! The street sweeper doesn’t even bother to come past our area and when he does he has to stay four feet from my curb, because of all the silt that’s in the street. Every six months or so I go out with a broom and wheel barrow and clean it up. This task gets old quick, but we still do it. I sometimes wonder if its not intential that nothing is done to help our neighborhood. That discouraging us and chasing the decent people out is what they want. Causing plight and abandonment, so they can plow over us and put high end condos in. That equates to higher tax revenue. If this is true and ini fact that is the MASTER PLAN! They will have to plow over my dead body. IM NOT GOING ANYWHERE!!!! So In the words of ex councilmen Francy. GFY.

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  3. dougcard4highlands

    Interesting read Don. As a newly elected Council member I do agree with you. Our town has failed. Please contact me. Doug Card 908-705-3106 , Dcard@highlandsborough.org I would love to have a conversation with you. For that matter anyone reading this can contact me about issues in Highlands. I welcome it. Thanks.

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  4. Claudette

    While I truly understand the frustrations as I too live next to a condemned house which quite frankly has been derelict for over 8 years is it really necessary to tell people to GFY ?? I have said it before and say it again if you have complaints start showing up regularly to council meetings, take photographs and send them to the local papers, call Frank Pallone , but most importantly stop complaining and DO SOMETHING PRO ACTIVE ABOUT IT. The disrespect in this town towards others is just mind blowing.

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    1. Angus

      Its more disrespectful to blatantly push out voting residents for developers. Debate should be civil but the guy is right about all the people who are attempting to hand over sweetheart deals to random developers.

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    2. Don Ryan

      I apologize for my negative comment . My frustration comes because I did and continue to be more involved with town issues. Our complaints to town council about roads collapsing above us is ignored. The road that runs along my house and around my garage has bin in severe disrepair for many years even before I lived here. We have endured years of construction vehicles,ups trucks,garbage trucks and all other vehicles that are unable to get around my structure. And will continue as other projects are in the works.They have hit my garage many times. When a new gas line was installed the construction vehicles were so close to my house it melted the siding and killed all my landscaping. The old home and new home built in it place we’re worked on with every thing coming inches from my home. I asked the town twice a year for7 years to please send the town guys over with the back hoe to push back the dirt that has leached on the road for decades. Not to mention the water that leached out of this muck and runs down the road which turns to ice in the winter time. The snow plow can’t make the turn either .This affects our quality of life here in a big way. I say our, because 6 family’s use this road. Not to mention all the people that drive up the road that are lost trying to find a way out. even driving past our ( no outlet sign). I have had five council persons and two mayors out to see this problem. I have heard every excuse from its a(paper road) and not our response ability. The last time they came out Dale Showed me on my survey that its wide enough and there is nothing they can do.how does this help us? THE VEHICLES CAN’T MAKE THE TURN. Including a fire truck or a ambulance. Not to mention the attitude that comes with this request. Like I have some nerve asking for a little help. This does not excuse my language Claudette so I once again sincerely apologize. As it is my wife is also po’ed with me. But they won’t break me. I’ve bin using my shovel for the last month to do what the town could do in two hours! It won’t resolve the problem of the vehicles getting around the turn, but I’ve managed to stop some of the water. At least one hazard is being dealt with. I will keep in mind the next time as to not insult the people that do care about the town. Sincerely Don Ryan

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  5. Claudette

    Please keep in mind that the people of the town voted the council people in so for change to happen you need to get new people on the council. Doug is a start but he is only one person , as seats come up for re election people who feel strongly about this issue should run. But you never ever get anywhere by yelling, cursing, and demeaning people whether at a meeting or on a public forum and least of all by telling people to GFY.

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  6. Claudette

    As most people know I am battling a huge FEMA issue but I am willing to share my contacts with anyone who feels they need them . I attend the meetings every other Wednesday so catch me at a meeting and maybe I can help.

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  7. Don Ryan

    Thanks for the offer Claudette …but it sounds like you have your hands full. I hope you don’t get ignored for seven years as I did. Understand one thing, that there silence is just as disrespectful as what I told them. It’s exactly what they were saying to me. So I hope you don’t have to go through the frustration as we have. My guess is you have a better chance of seeing god before you get any cooperation, unless it fits there agenda. Good luck..

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    1. NoLongerNew

      Don, I find that you have to keep asking so keep coming to the council meetings and keep asking for solutions.

      Residents asked at every council meeting for MONTHS for code enforcement. After about 6 months of listening to us and telling us no, the council finally hired a part time code enforcers. After MONTHS of asking the council why the town wasn’t getting more grant money and asking for a grant writer, they finally hired Millennium to go after grants.

      If you don’t come to the council meetings and ask for action, you can’t hold the council accountable. It can be tiresome and you might feel like nothing will ever get done, but you have to keep at it.

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  8. Elaine B

    I certainly hope the list will be scrutinized carefully and our Mayor & his buddies do not get their homes demo’d on the back of taxpayers. It’s disgraceful that his home has been sitting there untouched with his children’s toys still in backyard when almost every home around it managed to be salvaged. No excuses! Besides the small fact the home was previously owned & improved upon by a one of best masons around.

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