NEWARK - Four Newark apartment complexes owned by Virginia-based Realty Management Associates have been condemned by city officials.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka says the action was necessary due to deplorable and unsafe conditions at the buildings.
“We are doing as much as we can to make sure that the people in this city are not treated like second-class citizens or less than human,” Mayor Baraka said.
The mayor added, “This kind of action has never been done in the city at this magnitude.”
Residents of the buildings say the conditions inside were a nightmare that included collapsed ceilings, broken elevators, mold and vermin infestations.
“If I take a shower, I have mice coming up from the drain of the bathtub,” said Veronica Winston, who lived at the Aspen Stratford Apartments, one of the condemned buildings.
In addition to the condemnations, the City of Newark has also filed lawsuits against the property managers, Wayne and Denise Fox. Bench warrants were issued for them after they failed to appear in court last week.
In a statement provided to News 12 New Jersey, Wayne Fox said, “It is both confusing and unfortunate that the mayor’s comments appear to be supported by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who just last week conducted their annual inspection of the properties … and gave the property a score well above passing on the Real Estate Assessment Center inspection.”
The City of Newark is working with HUD to relocate the more than 100 residents by giving them vouchers to help find permanent housing.