Hoboken Shanty Town

Should something be done about Hoboken Shanty Town?

Update: I’ve always wondered why the city of Hoboken had a relaxed view about the “homes on the hill” that many people in town refer to as the homeless shanty town.

Homeless shanty towns in Hoboken NJ

Located on the “cliff” on the western edge of north Hoboken, homeless people have set up various mini villages there for a long time.

As you can see by the ever-growing pile of garbage accumulating on hill, it’s quite “unappealing” to the eye. And judging by the type of garbage (those blue plastic shopping bags), it appears that most of that refuse came from a liquor store. Maybe I should add this location to the Hoboken BYOB places?

Hoboken Shanty Town Slobs cliffs 1

What would you do about the shanty town?

You can look at this two ways. One, they’re homeless for God’s sake – they have no home! They’re sort of “out of the way” up there, and as long as they don’t get hit by a train or abduct some unknowing child, perhaps we should leave them alone. Maybe the least we could do is ask them to keep their house in order?

On the other hand – we do have the Hoboken Homeless Shelter which they could use (unless they were “banned”), and as you can see from the video – shanty towns like this can and will burst into flames as they get drunk and carelessly dispose of their cigarette butts, etc.

Does it really matter? Or would the city benefit if this area was cleaned up? Either way – as the spring blossoms, the trees will bloom and all of this will be out of sight soon enough.

Hoboken Shanty Town: Elaborate shacks rivaling some apartments


Hoboken411 reader Ryan thought this might be interesting to read. While riding the Light Rail, he mentioned seeing quite a few of these elaborate “shacks” that have been setup on the cliffs by local Hoboken homeless individuals.

Most Hoboken residents have seen these “hillside condos”, but has anyone actually seen what it’s like inside? If anyone would be interested in doing an “exposé” on what it’s like to live there, please feel free to use my great ideas! I’d consider crossing the tracks to see what it’s like, but would be nice if a group of volunteers came with me.

Regardless, it must be tough, especially in this cold weather. Some of the shacks actually had smoke coming out, as if they were building a fire. I know at one point in the last couple years, there was a pretty big fire in ‘dem hills.

Ryan adds: “Reminded me a little of the Ewok village from Star Wars. These are not your standard cardboard box temporary shelters, but it looks like they have been there for some time. Come to think of it these homes are probably better than my apartment!”

These photos were taken on the west side of Hoboken between 12th and 14th Streets.


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71 Comments on "Hoboken Shanty Town"

8 years 9 months ago

You know, I’ve always wondered about these…
Apparently, there is some sort of homeless colony that lives underneath the Doric. That building had problems in the past with them…
Very strange….

8 years 9 months ago

Nothing strange about it, just people doing what they do by human nature, building a place to live, it has been going on for thousands of years.
It is only in recent times that the scum of the earth started driving up the cost of a basic human need, houseing, that some people are forced to return to this level.
I am sure some scum will see this post and notice that they aren’t making any money off these people and tear it down.

8 years 9 months ago

i can’t believe Cracker just said something that i completely agree with. 80 years later we still have Hoover-villes in America.

how long before NJ Transit decides that these structures pose some sort of threat to their light rail line and demand that they be torn down?

I’d be fascinated to hear more about the people living hear and what life is like for them.

8 years 9 months ago

I have 3 predictions for these shanty homes:

1. Someone will now attempt to flip these shanty homes for a 10 fold profit by slapping on a new coat of paint and upgrade the kitchen to a new stainless steel propane hot plate.

2. Alfred Arezzo, Hoboken’s construction code official, will stop by and place a Stop-Work order on these shanty homes and send them notices of permit requirements.

3. Hoboken will apply eminant domain on these shanty homes and then sell the land to a developer who promises to build open space, but then get variances to build Troy Towers Jr. on… Read more »

8 years 9 months ago

Good one Midnight.

A friend of mine lived in the Doric for a while. We used to tell him that the building was gonna slide down the palisade into Hoboken and then they would triple his rent.