Operation Neighborhood Recovery

Shelterforce magazine takes a look at one of the hardest hit areas in New Jersey by the ongoing foreclosure crisis, and a first-in-the-nation property acquisition project that aims to stabilize neighborhood in decline.
July 30, 2009, 11am PDT | Tim Halbur
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Wayne Meyer scans a master list of properties and tries to locate them on a foreclosure-ravished street in an impoverished neighborhood in Irvington, NJ. There are so many to choose from, he has to first get his bearings as he figures out which empty house he's looking for. It's just one of countless streets that feature the boarded-up visages of homes-some majestic and some modest-that have deteriorated as they lay vacant as a result of the ongoing foreclosure crisis in this part of the state.

Meyer's goal is to figure out which of these properties can be saved, and which cannot, all in the name of preserving and stabilizing these historic neighborhoods that have fallen victim to all of the classic effects of hard times: crime, drugs, gangs, and property deterioration. This toxic stew has created what many worry is a long-term decline, with neighborhoods taking decades to rebound.

Thanks to Harold Simon

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Published on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 in Shelterforce Magazine
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