New Jersey officials are moving to demolish hundreds of homes that were ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.
State Community Affairs Department spokeswoman Tammori Petty tells the Daily Record that the agency is identifying the owners or lien holders of roughly 600 abandoned or dilapidated properties.
The homes are located in 23 municipalities, many of them hard hit when the storm hit in October 2012. In many cases, the owners don't have the money to tear down the structures, which have become neighborhood eyesores.
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Officials say there are numerous reasons why the homes have not been repaired. In some cases, property owners may still be dealing with their insurance companies or waiting to learn if they will get grant funding that will allow them to demolish the homes and then rebuild.
They also note that some of the residences are vacation homes that are not eligible for grants under the state's primary rebuilding program, and many of those homeowners have struggled to find the money to tear down their houses.
Under the state's demolition program, homeowners will be notified that their property is eligible for inclusion, and DCA will also inform any lien holders. Homeowners and lien holders must consent to the demolition in order to be included in the program.
After consent is obtained, buildings will be grouped together by geographic area. The state will then solicit bids for contractors to complete the work of tearing down the homes.
Petty said some demolition could be completed as soon as the end of May.