Newark Mayor Luis Quintana promises crackdown on dilapidated housing conditions

Officials say the apartments of Stratford Place are some of the worst in the city. (6/25/14)

NEWARK - Mayor Luis Quintana is getting action for hundreds of residents as he cracked down on one of the most run down blocks in Newark Wednesday. 

Officials say the apartments of Stratford Place are some of the worst in the city. Residents report drug deals in the hallways, leaky ceilings and an elevator that has been broken for more than a year.

The building is also a breeding ground for bugs, and something a little larger. "Rats. They're big. Really big," says Zakiyyah Auguste.

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Rodents are literally falling through holes in the ceiling's bubbling paint to the floor below.

It's a nightmare for the mother of 19-month-old twins Alyssa and Alannah, who sleep next to open baseboard heaters where more rats can enter. 

Mayor Quintana met the twins in their subsidized apartment and has a message for the building owner. "I think what we're gonna do is tell the folks who own this facility they've got to comply or we're gonna meet them in court."

Quintana's appearance got immediate results. Newark vermin control arrived at the building within minutes. The health department says they will address the rat problem in every apartment.

"Going forward, this isn't going to be tolerated," says Quintana's aide, Luis Shockley. "Not in this city." 

The building at 2 Stratford Place will get a full inspection Thursday morning.

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