HUD: Security Systems, Cameras Broken at Sherman Hills

WILKES-BARRE – In a 20 page report obtained by Newswatch 16, federal inspectors described some of the problems discovered at the Sherman Hills apartment complex as “possible life threatening security issues”.

During an inspection of six apartment buildings in the apartment complex in September, the report says officials found broken doors, poor outdoor lighting, mold and blankets covering windows.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report said the most troubling discoveries were broken security systems at the apartment buildings and surveillance cameras that were not properly installed.

The federal officials said that the issues and mismanagement at Sherman Hills have “contributed to the numerous incidents of illegal activity and as a result, tenants are experience possible life threatening security issues.”

Officials said that Park Management Inc. in Brooklyn, New York has until the end of this month to tell HUD how it plans to fix the problems at Sherman Hills, how quickly the work can be done, and how much it is expected to cost.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Mayor Tom Leighton said the report was troubling to read.

“This report confirms some of our worst fears of the property’s condition and operations. It substantiates many of the findings of the city’s rental inspection department earlier this summer that led to a $33,000 fine levied against the property, which remains on appeal,” said Leighton. “This report should be a wake-up call for the property managers. They should fully comply with HUD’s findings within the 30-day response period. The people of Wilkes-Barre and the residents of Sherman Hills deserve and expect a safe and secure complex that does not harm the public image of our city or endanger the welfare of our citizens or law enforcement officers.”

Congressman Matt Cartwright also released a statement about the inspections findings, and said that the owners need to be held accountable.

“The report issued by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on its September inspection of the Sherman Hills complex is disturbing,” said Cartwright. “Sherman Hills has been the scene of violent and drug-related crimes, and the failure of the complex’s management to comply with HUD guidelines has undoubtedly contributed to the negative environment and must be dealt with immediately.”

Newswatch 16 was told to leave the complex property Thursday afternoon, when attempting to check the conditions of the buildings and talk to residents.

2 comments

  • Mickayla

    There is another place that needs to be looked into and it is an elderly facility. These elderly people have to live with drafty homes because the gaps in the doors, there in need of windows because they cannot be opened and if they do open them they cannot be closed. Appliances that malfunction because they are too old. There is mold smell in these apartments and there is a smell of sewage when turning on the faucets in the morning. You can also find dirt settling at the bottom of the toilets in the morning. The maintenance man is in his 70’s and as had several bypass surgeries and is basically there to collect a paycheck because he is not capable of doing the work. He treats the residents very poorly and demeans them all the time. The manager is his sister and she isn’t much better than he is. You will find maintenance sleeping on the couches in the community room when they are there and that room is supposed to be for the residents. This place has been reported to Kim Loftus on several occasions and nothing has been done. What is the world coming too when we do not value the lives of our elderly residents? This complex is called Oakridge Apartments in Mountain Top. One more thing I must add, the residents in this small community do not and have not ever been allowed to have the name and number of the owner of the complex. No one knows who owns it and there is no one to complain to about the management and maintenance except for the management and maintenance. One of the major things I would like to know as a taxpayer is if these owners are getting grants for the upkeep of the apartments then what are they doing with the money? Federal inspections should be random not what places the management decides to show them. If they went into some of the other places they would find these issues.

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