Feds Threaten To Pull Housing Assistance From Sherman Hills


WILKES-BARRE – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has given the owner of the Sherman Hills apartment complex in Wilkes-Barre until the end of the month to respond to a report that management at the low-income housing complex is “unsatisfactory”.

Federal inspectors did not explain why the management of Sherman Hills was given an “unsatisfactory” rating, but officials did say that HUD “takes these acts of violence very seriously”.

“The report explains what the property owner is required to do by November 30, which is to respond to the findings in writing with the requested documentation and corrective measures that are planned,” the HUD statement said. “If the corrective actions in the report are not addressed, the owner may not be able to continue participating in HUD’s rental assistance program. “

Employees at the rental office at Sherman Hills in Wilkes-Barre told Newswatch 16 that they had no comment about HUD inspection report, or a deadly shooting in a parking lot on Monday that left a woman dead.

Mindy Koprowski said she left Sherman Hills and moved in with family members last month, to escape the violence.

“About February or March, there was a shooting in front of my door,” said Koprowski.
Jene Bayyoud told Newswatch 16 that she moved into the high-rise building at Sherman Hills last year, and she is now looking to get out.

“Along the pit area, it’s not so great and that`s where everything is happening and that`s what’s giving Sherman Hills a bad name,” said Bayyoud. “The management that are letting these people in, I don`t know if they`re not screening them right or they’re just trying to fill the apartments so the owners get the money, but it’s time to go.”

Several residents at Sherman Hills said they have not seen an increase in police patrols, but Mayor Tom Leighton told Newswatch 16 on Tuesday that officers have beefed up their presence in the troubled, subsidized housing complex.

“Our police department has done a fabulous job and they put their lives on the line every time they go on a call,” said Leighton. “I respect the job they do and I respect that the people have their opinions that the perception is bad. And it is bad. And it’s my job to turn that perception around.”

23 comments

  • scholarlymama

    The Section 8 program has good intentions, but like most other government programs, it’s deeply flawed. Section 8 is designed to keep people poor! If a recipient has to choose between working full-time and paying $800+ a month in rent or living on welfare/SSI/SSD and paying $50 a month in rent, which do you think they would choose? What’s more, it’s not unusual to see generations of families living on Section 8 for their entire lives.

    The Section 8 program needs to changed by instituting a limit on how long a person can receive a housing subsidy. Low income elderly should be allowed to have Section 8 for life as long as they meet income guidelines, but these able-bodied young people, who are capable of working, learning a trade, going to school, basically doing SOMETHING to be independent, should not be allowed to live in subsidized housing for a lifetime just because they choose to breed like rabbits.

    Before anyone criticizes me for attacking the poor, let me disclose that I had a Section 8 subsidy for 3 years while I put myself through college as a single mom of two kids. Once I graduated from college, I was able to find a full-time job with a good salary, and I left the Section 8 program and never looked back. For me, Section 8 helped me during a time in my life when I couldn’t afford to pay to live in a nicer neighborhood on my own, despite working multiple part-time jobs. I didn’t see Section 8 as a permanent way of life – I saw it as temporary assistance. Unfortunately, many Section 8 recipients see the program as a ticket to cheap rent for life. That’s why so many people despise the program.

  • Nikita

    People please drug testing won’t work. Look at the situation. Sherman Hills advertises in New York low income housing, they come over from New York and causes all these problems. I think the government should tell the owners, hey if you want our money then your going to have to keep it crime free. Hire security or armed security, keep cameras not only pointed at the parking lots but at windows for people shooting out of there apartment window. Along with the security (warning this sounds bad) but put up a siren if shots are fired, blare it. So people know be on the look out yet another killer is in the area.
    Some food for thought.

  • gracef

    Sounds to me like the landlords of Sherman Hills are looking to get “un” subsidized so that they can rent to higher paying tenants. That would make more money for them once they get all the subsidized tenants out.

  • SECRET USER

    YOU PEOPLE MAKE NO SENSE TO ME “KNOCK IT DOWN” THEN THEY WILL BE LIVING IN THE STREET AND THEY WILL BE BUYING HOUSES IN YOUR NEIGHBOR HOOD SO WHERE THEY ARE NOW AT LEAST ITS IN A CERTAIN AREA AND PEOPLE THAT DO NOT EVEN LIVE IN WILKES-BARRE HAVE NO ROOM TO COMPLAIN

  • fed up

    The crime in wilkes barre is out of control, they come here because there is less competition to sell their drugs than in the major cities like NY and Philly. Also they feel they can blend in better, yeah they blend all right, they kill. I’m getting pretty tired of supporting all these people when I have to work my butt off to put food on the table. My tax dollars should not enable these type of people.

  • Gene

    Yes bulldoze it that way you learn why jobless people sell drugs in the first place, amazing the dialectics the rich ppl have devised for the poor, no one is blaming the rich for sending jobs overseas

  • Mel

    I agree with tim, I live in the luzerne county exeter apartments and I work full time, I am a single mom and just simply cannot afford to live in a house or apartment that would require me to put a security deposit down….and I pay the max rent here….which in turn makes it so these other people can live for free…which that makes me upset but oh well at least I can say I am not a statistic…

  • Ria

    Get rid of this whole place. Where u have government subsidized anyone…. There will b trouble. Sorry to lump a lot of those people in with that class. But u wouldn’t find this in an upperclass well educated development of people.

  • jellystoneranger

    Bulldoze it! When you have a fresh pile of excrement the flies show up. These drug dealers go there to blend in with the local ethnics and operate from. The only way to stop this is for the police to have full time presence there paid for by the owners of the building and not the taxpayers .

  • Amanda

    Drug test? Most drug dealers are not users and these murders are drug DEALER related not drug USER related… Users tweak, steal and commit petty crimes for the most part, dealers sell coke crack and heroin and will shoot anyone in the head for it… Drug testing is not the answer… Criminal background checks and a deeper admission process are…

    Screw it all and quarantine the entire development and put it in a bubble with curfew and a metal detector…

  • Tim

    Look into Section 8 requirements before posting dumbassery. A section 8 tenant is screened like any other tenant. Anyone who ever rented; were you drug tested? No!! So please have some respect for people who use a government subsidized program to place a roof over their families heads. A Section 8 landlord has more strict/stringent requirements than a non-section 8 landlord. It’s laws and regulations.

  • gen

    It’s Mayor Leightons job to change the peoples perception of Sherman Hills and all the violence. NO, it’s mayor Leightons job to clean up an obviously dangerous situation at this property. The police presence

    there is not as good as they say. These landlords need to held accountable for the trash they allow to live in our community. They need to drug test thier tennants. YES DRUG TEST

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