You can see them anywhere in the waterfront sections of Berkeley. Houses that were once homes are now battered, rotting hulks 18 months after Superstorm Sandy slammed into Bayville.
Berkeley was recently notified by the state Department of Community Affairs that the township will receive a grant to knock down 71 homes in Glen Cove and Good Luck Point, Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. said at the June 23 Township Council meeting.
Berkeley had asked for enough money to demolish 140 homes, but getting anything is good news, he said.
"At least we can get 71 of these dilapidated structures down at no cost to the municipality or homeowners," Amato said.
Amato said after the meeting the township has to receive the funds before any demolition work can begin. The work will be done primarily in the hard-hit areas of Glen Cove and Good Luck Point.
Township Council President James J. Byrnes suggested the township send 30-day notices to homeowners with houses that pose a danger or health hazard, asking what they intend to do with their properties.
"It's about time people have done something to their houses," Byrnes said. "It's been almost two years."
Byrnes said he hated to use the word "slumlords," but said some absentee property owners did cosmetic work on Sandy-damaged homes but never addressed any mold issues.
"They probably have mold," he said.
Byrnes suggested requiring property owners to have "mold certificates" certifying that homes were treated for mold before they could be rented out.