My home town is going under

My home town is going under

Hey guys,check this out. My mom was reading the newspaper the other day and found out that our hometown of Newburgh N.Y. was going under. When I read the story. I know I stopped breathing for 5 seconds.

My heart just broke. I can't belive it,I know that this is happening all across America,but when it's your hometown you gotta do something about it!!!

I know I can't do this on my own, but brining together the right people we can bring it close to it's "HEYDAY", when Newburgh was "THE PLACE TO BE". I personally haven't been back in 13 years, but I gotta go back and try to do something, even if it's one house at a time.

I would love any and all feed backs to this article and I am most open to suggestions on how to go about
helping bring back my old hometown.

Census Tract 4 in the City of Newburgh, which covers part of the East End, north of Broadway, has the fourth-largest number of vacant housing properties in the state.
Times Herald-Record/JEFF GOULDING
By Doyle Murphy
Times Herald-Record
Posted: May 14, 2009 - 2:00 AM
CITY OF NEWBURGH — Ella Banks has seen a lot in her 52 years on Lander Street.

She's watched most of her neighbors pack up and move. She's seen their houses fall apart and new owners board the windows. She's seen the neighborhood change in ways that make her fear the kids who roam the street.

"It changed so damn bad, I hate to say it, I'm about ready to move up out of here," she said.

Banks' home sits in the middle of what the U.S. Census Bureau calls Census Tract 4. The tract covers a stretch of Newburgh's East End, north of Broadway.

Of more than 4,800 tracts in New York, Tract 4 has the fourth-highest number of vacant housing units in the state. The ranking is based on a Times Herald-Record and Associated Press analysis of first-quarter statistics from the U.S. Postal Service and federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

On paper, that shows up as 450 vacant units, or one out of every five units in Tract 4. On Banks' block at Third and Lander streets, it looks like "for rent" signs and decaying boards on the windows.

Banks' grandparents bought her house more than 100 years ago, she said. The building next door used to be a law office. Now, rats gather there.

City leaders have struggled to find a solution for the growing number of empty buildings, many of which the city took over when the old owners stopped paying taxes. They auctioned dozens of them to individual buyers near the beginning of the decade, but have slowly had to reclaim those buildings when new owners found they couldn't afford renovations.

Mayor Nicholas Valentine said he thinks the city's best shot is to attempt to revitalize areas near anchors such as St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital and the Armory.

"It's got to be a developer, along with the city and a neighborhood, to reclaim it," Valentine said.

On Wednesday, City Assessor Steve Ruelke walked part of Census Tract 5, which ranks 28th in the state for vacant units. He's taking stock of buildings the city has recently claimed and others it will probably take in coming months.

Right now, the city owns 161 properties. Ruelke expected the city to claim another 50 in the next round, the most it has ever had to claim. Most will be vacant.

The numbers have increased as the housing market has struggled. Newer strategies by the city have bundled properties together and marketed them to developers.

Acting City Manager Dwight Douglas is expected to unveil a revised plan in coming months to identify which properties the city plans to keep and which ones to sell.

Banks looked at the old houses and thought back to when she was a little girl, playing in the shade of some of the nicest houses in Newburgh.

"It used to be beautiful," she said.

Reporter Matt King contributed to this story.



I'm sorry

All I can say, it's shame. In order for the town to come back to life, turning houses over flipping and so on is not the answer. First, they need to attract people to move there. Meaning, they need businesses, jobs, etc.

I know where Newburgh is. This is just a shame.




Sorry to hear about your hometown

I am also from a small town that has had struggles during the past few years. The local government had cut funding and several towns were considering a merger. Several of the area towns have seen the steel industry weaken causing layoffs. It is so unfortunate that smalltown USA is starting to disappear. The large malls are making downtown Mainstreet USA a thing of the past. I hope these small towns can survive and jobs are created to bring people into the these small towns. So many newer sub-divisions try to capture that small town atmosphere with neighbors helping neighbors. What happened to all the homes with open front porches rather than large decks in a backyard enclosed by a large privacy fence? I believe we can all make a difference and be able to help smalltown USA in whatever way we can. I volunteer in various ways for my hometown including working the small summer festivals and participating in the local chamber of commerce. Believe and Achieve! Smiling Indiana-Joe


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I'm Upset

I was just informed by the Veterans Dept. that my pay was being decreased due to cutbacks within the miltary, I thought they were not going to do this they are cutting me back over 1500.00, I really need more house to buy and sell.