Newark Housing Authority leader responds to complaints

Newark Housing Authority Director Keith Kinard responds to residents about conditions at the Riverside Villa apartments.

Newark Housing Authority Director Keith Kinard responds to residents about conditions at the Riverside Villa apartments. (6/4/15)

NEWARK - The head of the Newark Housing Authority says he is aware of the unfavorable conditions at the Riverside Villa apartment complex, but there just isn't enough money to fix all the problems.

On Wednesday, residents of the complex spoke with News 12 New Jersey about the conditions there. They expressed concerns about untiled floors, broken windows and large holes in the ceilings. 

The residents rallied together, trying to form a tenants' association.

Housing Authority Director Keith Kinard says the money is tight, so repairs cannot be made a quickly as residents would like.

"We're taking money to deal with one or two work orders, when we know we have 20 or 25 to deal with," he says. "We are trying to prioritize."

Kinard says in the last five years, $12 million in federal aid has been cut, leading to the money problems. Kinard also points out that security has improved at the Riverside Villa in the last few years, and there has been a crackdown on drug dealing in the area.

As for a tenants' association, Kinard says that last year when tenants association elections were held, no one from Riverside Villas signed up.

"It's a three-year term that they serve. If, in fact, they decide to organize in the meantime...we will have a special election," he says.

The Housing Authority anticipates another 8 percent cut in federal funding this coming year.

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