(Camden, NJ) – The Camden County Improvement Authority has launched a multi-phase demolition project to eliminate properties that have been deemed an imminent danger to the residents of the city. The first phase of the project will contain over a hundred homes that are being used for a variety of illicit purposes and are undermining the quality of life in several neighborhoods throughout the city.
Commissioner Jon Young talked about the impact this project will have on the city moving forward.
“The size and scope of this project will create tangible results in several neighborhoods and will remove shelters for sales and use of illegal narcotics. The shells of these homes are public safety hazards and become targets,” Young said. “Removing these structures will enhance the quality of life for the children and families that live on these blocks and open up property that was deteriorated and abandoned.”
The project is being funded by the state Department of Community Affairs. The CCIA worked in partnership with the Camden County Police Department, local elected officials and stakeholders in the city to identify problematic properties.
Camden City Mayor, Vic Carstarphen, talked about the importance of eliminating blight, enhancing the quality of life for residents and improving public safety.
‘This demolition project represents another step forward for our City,” Carstarphen said. “Our community has lived with these unsafe structures for far too long. Camden residents and our children want to be able to enjoy their neighborhoods safely. They want these eyesores eliminated and will no longer tolerate blight, crime and decay. This project provides hope for a bright future and demonstrates the dramatic changes sweeping through Camden. I am confident this comprehensive approach to revitalization will take Camden’s transformation to the next level.”
Outside of many of the abandoned homes being catalysts for crime they also become public health nuisances. The homes become infested with vermin and typically become targets for criminals removing metals exposing open water lines further undermining the compromised structures.
Another member of the community, Camden County Police Chief, Gabe Rodriguez, spoke about the critical nature of clearing these
“These crumbling structures are nothing more than dens of inequity that support narcotics sales and a variety of illegal activity in many neighborhoods throughout the city,” Rodriguez continued. “By bringing these derelict buildings down you are taking away stash houses, shooting galleries and blight from Camden’s landscape.”