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Madison Gharghoury, Development Associate and Special Assistant to the President/CEO

Taking a Strategic and Data-Driven Approach to Addressing Problem Properties in Trenton, New Jersey

A Community Progress Technical Assistance Report

Published: September 2015


Author(s): Center for Community Progress

In January 2015, the City of Trenton, New Jersey engaged Community Progress (through our technical assistance scholarship program) to explore ways the City can build upon its existing revitalization strategies. This report offers potential enhancements to the City’s information systems, data collection and management, GIS, and dissemination of neighborhood and property-related data to City staff and the public.

This report focuses on overarching strategy development with added emphasis on data and information technology to address problem properties. In this report, we recomend that the City take a number of actions to address problem properties in Trenton:
* Establish a blight task force under the leadership of the Mayor’s office to develop and measure progress toward achieving revitalization goals through regular data sharing and reporting.
* As part of the blight task force’s work, design and adop a strategic, multi-year revitalization and blight removal plan
* Within the larger multi-year revitalization strategy, organize a strategic focus around the four key revitalization themes addressed in this report: vacant properties, problem rental housing, sustaining homeownership, and creating a strong, vital downtown
* Create strong planning, information, and implementation partnerships with city and regional public, private, and nonprofit organizations
* Engage a full-time professional City IT manager to be responsible for managing all information technology procurements, plans, and implementations
* Design and implement short and long range plans to compile, manage, and disseminate timely and accurate property and neighborhood information

Our recommendations outline broad approaches and specific actions the City and its community partners can take to facilitate the productive reuse of vacant properties, gain compliance for landlords, improve the quality of rental properties, boost homeownership, and strengthen the City’s downtown development.

Published: September 2015


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