New Law Allows NJ Municipalities to Buy Vacant and Abandoned Properties

Governor Phil Murphy signs the New Jersey Land Bank Law in Newark. The law will allow municipalities to buy vacant, abandoned, and neglected properties. Photo courtesy of Governor Phil Murphy Facebook page.

NEW JERSEY – On Wednesday, July 10th, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that will all towns and cities to create a land bank entity to obtain vacant, abandoned, and neglected properties to be repurposed.

The New Jersey Land Bank Law allows municipalities to create a nonprofit organization or a public entity to acute properties on it own “and act as a municipality’s agent to purchase liens at a tax sale, carry out lien foreclosures, and take individual abandoned properties. “

“Where some see blight, we see promise,” Murphy said in a press release. “Whether it is in Newark, Paterson, Trenton, or Camden, the creation of a land bank will be a powerful tool for taking empty and overlooked properties and turning them into places where residents can live and work, and where a new sense of community can be ignited.”

The public entities can be designated as a redevelopment entities, county improvement authorities, and departments and agencies, for the municipality itself.

Community advisory boards will be created and they will have mandatory access to information and opportunities so the board can discuss the decisions that the land bank entity has made.

An online and publicly available database of current and former land bank properties will be created by the newly formed land bank entity. The community advisory board will create an annual report on the accuracy, integrity, accessibility, and comprehensiveness of the land bank entity’s online database.

The law will take effect immediately.