Tenants living in squalid conditions in New Jersey building call temporary fixes unacceptable

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Thursday, November 21, 2019

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Tenants forced to vacate a mold and rodent-infested apartment building with no heat are receiving some temporary relief.

The new property owners of the Stratford Place public housing building have struck a deal with the city to clean things up before moving tenants out.

But for the people who live there, it's shot of a total victory - residents say the temporary fixes are unacceptable.

The tenants were initially going to have to vacate the dilapidated building by 5 p.m. Thursday after the city condemned the building.

Residents showed Eyewitness News the horrid conditions that they have endured for years: Mold, no heat, holes in the wall, stairs falling apart, exposed wires and missing smoke detectors are just some of the issues.

In court on Thursday, the city made an agreement with the new owners to try to make conditions at least livable until the families can be moved to other locations while the building undergoes an 18-month renovation.

The owners' attorney, Elnardo Webster, said the new owners just acquired the building a couple weeks ago and it was the previous owners who failed to bring it up to code.

He said his clients had to take ownership or lose their investment.

Work is being done, but tenants question if they can continue to have their families in the building, even with the attempt to bring it at least up to code.


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