Cooper University Hospital calls for meeting to discuss $1 homes

Posted: January 07, 2011

Cooper University Hospital on Thursday proposed a meeting of government officials and nonprofit agencies to discuss helping Camden tenants who were promised a chance to buy their homes for $1.

An Inquirer article on Sunday highlighted 1992 agreements with the city and state that allowed a low-income-housing developer to buy 91 city-owned housing units in Camden. In return, the developer, Israel Roizman, promised to sell them for $1 each after 15 years.

Roizman has not fulfilled his promise, and the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, which signed the deed that laid out the arrangement, has said it would not enforce the deal. The city is reviewing the matter.

Cooper became involved because many of the units are in the Lanning Square and Bergen Square neighborhoods, adjacent to where Cooper is building a medical school with Rowan University.

George Norcross, chairman of Cooper, called Thursday for a resolution to keep the families in their homes.

"This is not about the hospital or the medical school; it's about building a sustainable community with the people who live, work, and raise their families here," Norcross said in a statement.

He invited Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd, legislators, state officials, local nonprofits, county agencies, and Roizman to a meeting within two weeks to discuss the matter.

Roizman and his attorney said they had tried to find a way to sell the properties for $1 if tenants can afford the costs of home ownership. They did not respond to a call and e-mail for comment Thursday.

Contact staff writer Matt Katz at 856-779-3919 or

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