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UPDATE: Why are Promised Safety Upgrades at Sherman Hills Delayed?

WILKES-BARRE– Two people were sent to the hospital after a late night shooting in Luzerne County.

Shots rang out at Sherman Hills housing complex just before 11:30 last night after an attempted robbery.

Police told Newswatch 16 that the two victims were both men in their early 20s.

Officers have not released their names or conditions.

There are still plenty of questions about the shooting, as well as the promised safety upgrades at Sherman Hills.

A new fence was put up around the property months ago after an outcry over continued violence, but residents tell us work on the fence has since stopped, and there’s no sign of the promised gates, guard shacks, or security officers.

A task force to help improve safety at Sherman Hills says that Treetop Development of New Jersey bought this low income housing property earlier this year.

Several residents at Sherman Hills told Newswatch 16 that they have not seen contractors working on safety improvements for more than a month.

“They’re falling through, they’re not holding up to their end of the deal,” said Ryan Hartman. “All they did was put new shades up and new curtains. That’s it so far.”

Shaqwanna Foster said she was frustrated to hear about the latest report of violence at the low-income housing complex, near the daycare she was signing her children up for.

“It’s very disheartening as well as just sad, because bullets don’t have names,” said Foster. “Going about your business, trying to survive and in an instant, you could be gunned down. I mean I didn’t realize we were living in the Wild, Wild West.”

Workers at the Sherman Hills office and Wilkes-Barre officials have not yet offered any explanation about the apparent delay in safety upgrades.

A representative for the United States Housing Department of Housing and Urban Development said the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Contract was transferred to the new owner in April.

U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright released a statement Wednesday evening that said the new owners have fulfilled some of the agreements, including repairs to broken surveillance cameras.

“The main challenge that remains is the question of whether the prior owner’s promise of a gate/guard house system can be fulfilled and, if so, to what extent,” said Cartwright.

A representative for the new owners of Sherman Hills told Newswatch 16 that it has not abandoned plans to complete improvements, but he could not provide an explanation for the delay or when he expects the work to be completed.

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