15 families displaced by condemnation of East Orange apartment building

Families are staying at the Ramada Inn for the time being, but will need to leave soon.

Chris Keating

Oct 4, 2023, 10:38 AM

Updated 264 days ago

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City officials in East Orange plan to help 15 families evicted from their apartment complex after it was condemned.
Those families were told on Sept. 26 that they had to immediately get out of the complex located at 65 South Harrison St. because it was unsafe.
Those families have since been living at the Ramada Inn, but the management company paying for their stay says they only have 10 days. Thursday will be the last day, and families have not found a new permanent home.
East Orange Mayor Ted Green went to the Ramada Inn on Wednesday to tell these families the city would pay for any additional days they may need at the hotel.
“We’re not going to allow a landlord in this community to treat anybody unfair,” Green said. “I told my team whatever we have to do for these people to stay here and get them somewhere to live we’re going to do that.”
The apartment building has its windows boarded up. There’s a lock on the door.
Interview with tenant Judith Daleus below:
Tenants have told News 12 that the floors are slanted. There’s mold in the building, water leaking from the ceiling and gas leaks from stoves.
They also say the building’s owner, Harrison Management, refuses to make repairs. Judith Judge says she has electrical issues.
“My utility box keeps popping and you see an electrical flare,” Judge says.
Vernon Sessoms lives in the building with his mother.
“I end up smelling gas, so I call PSE&G. They find a leak in the stove. I started calling the building manager to help fix it. They put us on a do-not-answer list,” Sessoms says.
He says he and his mother, Allison Artist, are stuck at the Ramada Inn for now.
“We looked for a new place. I’ve been sending emails to low-income apartments looking for Section 8,” he says.
News 12 New Jersey has reached out to Harrison Management and Estate Management, which are the two entities operating the apartment building. They have not yet responded.


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