Tenants of Newark apartment building evacuated due to unsafe living conditions
Tenants in a Newark apartment building say that it is crumbling before their eyes, and claim that there is a sinkhole underneath.
The building located at 91 Prince St. has now been boarded up and fully vacated. But before that happened, there were some contentious moments between a tenant and a maintenance worker as the tenant tried to show News 12 New Jersey to his apartment to view the conditions.
Jerard Andrews reached out to News 12 about the building, which he has lived in since the late 1990s. He says that the building is riddled with issues, such as infestations and now structural damage.
“You have the apartments separating, the building shifting. They have a whole in the basement,” Andrews says.
The building is managed by WT Apartments LLC. There is no confirmation that a sinkhole is under the building, but News 12 crews saw noticeable separation between the walls and the ceiling in some parts of the building. The floors were noticeably sunken in some apartments and the crew felt the building shake.
Andrews posted some videos of the conditions on social media, and that caught the attention of Newark officials who sprang into action.
“They needed to get out immediately. We could not spend another minute of having residents living in those conditions,” says Newark Councilwoman LaMonica McIver. “I wouldn’t place anyone in one of these apartments to live and so we understand that as a city, we’re pushing forward to do what’s right and hold these landlords and management accountable.”
The building has been deemed unsafe and residents were asked to vacate on Tuesday. They are now being housed at the Robert Treat Hotel until Sunday. The management company will pay. But it is not clear what happens after Sunday.
“They only paid for Robert Treat until Sunday. Sunday everybody gotta come back here,” says Andrews.
Building management did not want to be interviewed on camera for this story. They tell news 12 that they are complying with orders for the city of Newark.