There are more than 300 residential properties on the city’s foreclosure registry, as of Sept. 1, including almost 100 vacant properties.
City Council established a foreclosure registry in August 2014 and is poised to amend the ordinance at its Monday meeting to include commercial properties, among other changes. UPDATED: With no comment from the public or its members, City Council unanimously adopted the ordinance Sept. 14 by a vote of 8-0, with one member absent (6th Ward Councilman Raymond Giacobbe, Jr.).
Earlier this summer, I requested a copy of the foreclosure registry from the city and there were approximately 336 properties registered as of Sept. 1, including 241 foreclosures and 95 vacancies. According to the 2010 Census, there were 11,300 housing units in Rahway, so 336 properties would work out to about 3 percent (though the denominator and numerator in that calculation aren’t consistent since they’re about 5 years apart).
How that compares to other towns is unclear but Union County has the seventh-highest foreclosure rate in the state, according to this report. Overall, the state had 7,378 foreclosed housing units as of May, out of 3.5 million total units; one for every 483 properties — a rate of 0.21 percent undergoing the foreclosure process. That’s higher than the national average of 0.10 percent.
Properties in Rahway are now required to file registration annually. There may be additional properties under review that have not been formally added to the registry, perhaps pending information from the owner.
I converted the foreclosure registry into a spreadsheet that you can find here for foreclosures and here for vacancies. I also love maps so there’s a map of said spreadsheet (blue = foreclosures; red = vacant).
The properties are scattered throughout the city but some things of note after a brief look at the map:
- Amid a three-block stretch of Hamilton Street from downtown, there are seven foreclosures, including two vacancies.
- There are six foreclosures, including one vacancy, along one block of Price Street.
- Only one unit in Carriage City Plaza is in foreclosure;
- I didn’t break it out by ward boundaries like I did for the 2012 tax appeals (sorry, just too tedious right now, maybe later on), but it sure seems like the 2nd Ward might have the most foreclosures, judging by the number of pins on the map. It may be that they’re just more concentrated in that area, especially north of Elizabeth Avenue to the Clark border. Parts of that might overlap into the 1st Ward, so it would seem that the 1st and 2nd Wards have the highest number of foreclosures.
Anything in particular jump out at you?
Under the original ordinance passed last summer, owners have to register properties with the city within 14 days of becoming vacant, with an initial registration fee of $500; renewal fees of $1,500 after the first year, $3,000 for the second renewal and $5,000 for the third and subsequent renewals.
City officials anticipated the registry could generate fees of some $40,000 in the 2015 budget but could reach $100,000. If 300 of the properties on my Sept. 1 list all paid the $500 registration fee, that would generate $150,000 — not including any that may be into their second year of the registry, which would bring a $1,500 fee.
If we assume just for argument’s sake that some 40 other properties might be in the second year of the registry, they would pay a $1,500 fee, generating $60,000. The total then would exceed $200,000 in revenue for the city.