WILKES-BARRE – Following months of criticism about shootings and drug busts at Sherman Hills, managers at the company that owns the apartment complex responded to the complaints.
Officials at Park Management Inc. in Brooklyn have not responded to calls or emails, so Newswatch 16 traveled to New York City in an attempt to talk to property managers, about a recent threat to remove a federal rental assistance program, which helps more than 300 low-income residents at Sherman Hills in Wilkes-Barre.
A tenant at Tilden Apartments, a Section 8 apartment complex in Brooklyn, NY that is owned by Park Management Inc., told Newswatch 16 that some residents have had problems with the landlord and that they constantly fear being evicted.
“They gave heat and utility allowances for the HUD apartments and they were like taking it, they weren’t sending the checks, like they were supposed to,” said one resident who did not want to be identified. “They change their name a lot too, their company name. It could be Park Management, it could be Spencer Housing Reality, you never know what you’re going to get.”
A regional director for Park Management Inc. refused to talk with Newswatch 16 on camera at the company’s office on East New York Avenue, but he later agreed to answer questions.
Sam Gold said Sherman Hills is being unfairly criticized by Wilkes-Barre residents, law enforcement and Mayor Tom Leighton, as the main hub of crime in Luzerne County.
Gold told Newswatch 16 that Park Management Inc. has invested thousands of dollars in safety investments for Sherman Hills, including chain-link fencing, surveillance cameras and private security.
During the interview, Gold would not say how much money was invested, or how many Section 8 properties that Park Management Inc. owns or operates.
Gold also told Newswatch 16 that Pennsylvania gun control laws are too lax, explaining that the company doesn’t have many problems with guns at their properties in Brooklyn, because of New York City’s stop-and-frisk law.
That law allows NYPD officers to search people who are suspected of carrying a concealed weapon.
The regional director told Newswatch 16 that he is not worried about the Department of Housing and Urban Development pulling federal assistance for low-income tenants, because he says the company will correct all of the recommendations that are made by the government.