Trenton unveils program to sell abandoned properties for as low as $1

By David Foster, The Trentonian

TRENTON >> A dollar may buy more than just a sandwich in a fast food chain restaurant in the capital city.

In an aggressive strategy to get abandoned properties back on the tax rolls, Mayor Eric Jackson’s administration announced a plan Tuesday to attract new residents by offering discount rates for homes.

Monique King-Viehland, director of Trenton’s Housing and Economic Development, outlined the homesteading pilot program that

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Marty Johnson, right, President and CEO of Isles speaks at a news conference about a vacant property survey that Isles conducted in the city. Looking on is Mayor Eric Jackson. Gregg Slaboda – The Trentonian

would allow first-time homebuyers or those wishing to relocate to the capital city the opportunity to purchase city-owned properties for nominal consideration.

“Which could be as low as $1 and may be as much as $10,000,” King-Viehland explained. “It’s going to depend on the condition of the property.”

There will obviously be some strings attached to the discount rates.

Monique King Viehland

Monique King Viehland, Director of Trenton’s Housing and Economic Development Department

The owners must demonstrate the financial means to rehabilitate the property and commit to using the home as their primary residence for a minimum of 10 years. Additionally, one home purchase will be allowed per family.

Owners will also receive a five-year tax abatement on the capital improvements made to the properties.

The pilot program was one of five strategies King-Viehland revealed at City Hall to address vacant property issues.

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