A long-standing room house in the heart of Haddon Heights is on the market, and locals, including those who call the facility home, are worried about its future.
Owner Joseph Duffin, 71, posted a handwritten “on sale” sign outside the grounds of 8th Avenue and Station Avenue at the end of last month. The asking price is $ 800,000.
According to Duffin, he also sells two-room homes on Park Avenue in Pensauken and Haddonfield Road in Cherry Hill for his age.
When current resident John Donnelly considered renting a room at Haddon Heights’ house, he told him “Take that place, you will have it forever.” I remember saying that.
“But who knows what? [new owner] Donnelly, 69, who has lived there for four years, said.
“We are confident we will get out of here,” he said. “It goes to show you, nothing lasts forever.”
The 802 Station Ave. House was built around 1900 on approximately 0.5 acres of major real estate as a private residence in Camden. Wool mill mogul J. Walter Levering. By the 1930s, it became known as the Haddon Hall Sanatorium. For tuberculosis patients, historian and former Haddon Heights Library Director Robert Hunter said.
Haddon Hall operated as a nursing home in the 1950s and 1960s and was purchased by Teresa Abate in 1968. Theresa Abate lived there and rented a room to a single adult. New Jersey licensed the property as a rooming house in 1982, and Duffin purchased it in 1990.
At that time, the cost of a single room was $ 65 a week, or $ 260 a month. Weekly rentals are no longer available and monthly rates for single rooms with beds, dressers, microwaves and refrigerators have increased from $ 550 to $ 685. The bathrooms are shared except for the two traditional one-bedroom apartments in the building. They go for $ 900 a month. A total of 14 units can be rented.
“Hundreds of people have lived here over the years,” said Duffin, an 11-year-old father and 10-year-old grandfather.
“Some of the people who live here are old, some are hurt, and some have no family or friends in the area,” Duffin said.
“Some people have no problems, except for being poor.”
According to housing advocates, housing was once common throughout the country, especially in urban areas. Alan MalakSenior Fellow, a non-profit organization Community Progress Center In Flint, Michigan.
“Looming houses, boarding houses and other SROs (single room occupancy buildings) have been a very important part of American housing supply since the 19th century, but disappeared by the 1970s,” he said. Told. “it’s unfortunate.”
Marach said that modern zoning codes usually prohibit SRO. Rising real estate prices and redevelopment pressure are also Homeless crisis And growing public interest “small house” When Arrangement of communal living Of all kinds.
SROs are currently confined to the dense districts of Center City and near the Philadelphia University campus. Increasing availability promotes the production of affordable homes for urban dwellers, “not just more student homes” Green told governing.com..
The Haddon Heights facility preceded the 1974 zoning regulations for the autonomous region and, if sold, could continue to operate as a rooming house, autonomous region officials said. The latest state inspection report, filed last September, described dozens of minor violations and the spread of bed bugs and cockroaches in some rooms that needed immediate attention.
A State Department spokesperson said information on residential rooms throughout the state was not immediately available.
“We have lost a lot of homes in New Jersey. Some people are experiencing homelessness because there is no such option at the bottom of the housing market,” he said. Fair Share Housing Center, State-wide advocacy group.
“Rents are under pressure due to the overall shortage of housing,” he said. “More affordable housing forms, such as mobile home parks, have been purchased and redeveloped for luxury homes.”
Duffin said: “With thousands of room houses, we can drive homeless people out of the street. We could shoot them something.”
Some people in Haddon Heights call the Station Avenue home a “Heartbreak Hotel,” a nickname that residents hate, but the autonomous region generally accepts its existence.
“I knew what the house was forever, but never got on my radar,” said Mayor Zachary Hook.
The lush green grounds are well maintained, and Duffin arranges the Japanese maples planted there like a topiary.
“Owners obviously care about it, and if the new owners do the same, the autonomous region will welcome it,” Houck said. “We are a community for everyone.”
Hunter, a longtime resident of the Autonomous Region, also said that the homes in the rooms are part of the prosperous suburbs of Camden County, known for their meticulously maintained homes, wide streets, and lush greenery. I am glad that it is.
“When you know the people who live in the Rooming House, it prevents you from being in the bubbles of Haddon Heights,” he said.
“But you never know what the new management is trying to do,” he said.
Duffin, a retired teacher living in Moorestown, collects vintage furniture (some of which is on display in his home) and “work” with ambulances loaded with tools and equipment to maintain his property. Diverted to “Truck”.
“Haddon Heights has been good for me for years,” he said. “The people in charge, the police, and especially the neighbors were very kind and tolerant of what happened from time to time.
“There was an overdose here. There is sadness here. When people call it the” Heartbreak Hotel, “it really explains a lot. “
64-year-old Robert Everson, who has been living in Haddon Heights’s home since 2016, doesn’t care about the Heartbreak Hotel’s nickname. “I have a disability, and it’s the cheapest place around,” he said.
“I’m comfortable here,” he added. “I hope I can stay until I enter the senior residence, but there is a waiting time of 6 years in this town.
“I’m sure something will come again. There’s always.”