‘Horror stories.’ Atlantic City public housing residents describe deplorable conditions of residences

Water damage, decaying buildings and roach infestations are just some of the conditions public housing residents say they are forced to live with in Atlantic City.

News 12 Staff

Jul 22, 2022, 12:46 AM

Updated 695 days ago

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Water damage, decaying buildings and roach infestations are just some of the conditions public housing residents say they are forced to live with in Atlantic City.
Members of the community held a forum Thursday afternoon in an attempt to spur the federal government to take action.
“It’s horrible. We live in horrible conditions. And I’m tired,” says Lisa Barshal, the former tenant association president for Altman Towers.
Barshal lives in Altman Terrace, a 200-unit public housing complex for seniors and the disabled. She says the conditions inside her building are deplorable.
“Our building is deteriorating. You walk in, you see the roaches,” she says. “I’m frustrated, I’m aggravated.”
Residents of Atlantic City’s housing complexes gathered at the Soldier’s Home to voice their concerns and express what they want to change. Federal housing officials plan to come to Atlantic City next week.
“This is a humanitarian crisis. And it's time to fix it,” says resident Patricia Nellum.
Warren Massey, the former Atlantic City Housing Authority chair, says he has heard horror stories from residents.
“Horror stories that, in my opinion, exist around the country,” he says.
Massey spent two and a half years as chairman of the Housing Authority before he was forced out. He wants federal officials to hear directly from public housing residents.
“What is the future for people living in public housing in Atlantic City? Because for now, it's just bad,” he says.
Massey organized Thursday’s forum. Residents also spoke of falling debris at Shore Park Senior Apartments, lack of air conditioning in some hallways, no hot water and structural integrity issues.
“We're living near salt water. We have a whole Atlantic Ocean surrounding us. And salt water when it comes over the shores and hits that concrete, it eats it up,” Nellum says.
Housing Secretary Marcia Fudge was in Atlantic City this week for the NAACP National Convention alongside Vice President Kamala Harris. The vice president left Atlantic City immediately after her convention center events.
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small said the national NAACP convention was expected to bring in $10 million in economic activity.


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