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Plainfield City Council member working to secure more aid for families of condemned building

News 12 New Jersey is learning more details about the mass eviction of residents of a Plainfield apartment building earlier this month.

Matt Trapani and Isabel Litterst

Aug 24, 2023, 12:21 AM

Updated 298 days ago

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News 12 New Jersey is learning more details about the mass eviction of residents of a Plainfield apartment building earlier this month.
News 12 was the first to break this story two weeks ago. News 12 has now learned where some of the residents have been living since they were forced out of their homes on Aug. 8.
Maria Mendez is a former resident of 501 West Seventh St. She says she and her family have been sleeping in her friend’s living room since the day they were blindsided by a city notice condemning the building due to unsafe conditions.
Plainfield City Council Member Sean McKenna says Mendez is not alone.
“There are a lot of residents who have a friend or family member or something, that they've been able to kind of crash on floors and couches,” McKenna says.
But from one couch to the next, evicted families fear a day will come when there are no doors left to knock on. McKenna says this was just the latest in a string of evictions from condemned Plainfield apartments all under the same ownership.
“This horrible situation here, that got the spotlight. That the other two properties did not, has opened up a lot of issues that we need to solve as a community,” McKenna says.
City representatives say they are providing housing assistance, but McKenna says the resources are limited and he is working with a group of concerned community members to secure more aid for all of the Plainfield residents impacted.
"It has been frustrating. It has been exhausting, but I see a light at the end of the tunnel for these individuals,” he says.
McKenna says he should have an update about those efforts to bring greater housing assistance to those former tenants in the coming days.
News 12 has reached out to the city to find out about any new housing assistance programs, but has not yet received a response.
More information from the city can be found HERE.


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