Christie targets Trenton blight with $11.5M revitalization plan

 Governor Christie says the state will provide $11.5 million to improve safety and eliminate blight. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Governor Christie says the state will provide $11.5 million to improve safety and eliminate blight. (Phil Gregory/WHYY)

An urban blight-reduction program will provide $11.5 million for New Jersey’s capital city to demolish about 500 vacant homes.

Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson said the abandoned and blighted homes stand in the way of bringing in developers to enhance the city.

“This is a game changer for us. It really gives us a unique opportunity to go into various neighborhoods,” he said. “Instead of taking down one house here, one house there, we can focus on whole blocks at this point to revitalize city streets one block at a time.”

Gov. Chris Christie said Tuesday the plan also calls for the addition of 150 surveillance cameras in high-crime areas as well as increasing the efficiency of the city’s central monitoring system.

“So that the city police here in Trenton can have a greater handle on the intelligence that’s going on across the city, and criminals will know that when they decide to engage in criminal activity, they might as well just look up at the camera,” Christie said. “And next thing is, they’ll be caught.”

The governor said revitalization efforts have helped change the culture in Camden and Newark, and he hopes they’ll do the same for Trenton.

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