Troubled Apartment Complex Now under New Ownership

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WILKES-BARRE -- An apartment complex that's been plagued by violence over the years is under new ownership in Wilkes-Barre.

On Saturday, Newswatch 16 got a first look inside Sherman Hills along with the so-called Sherman Hills Task Force as the new owners look to improve the situation there.

Both inside and outside Sherman Hills Apartment Complex in Wilkes-Barre, task force members got a look at how its new owners are taking steps to make this a safer place to live.

"What's the answer? They have to do a better background check before they let people in."

Congressman Matt Cartwright sat down with some residents to hear their side of things, after years of problems with violence and drugs here.

"It was a gripe session, and sometimes you have to engage in those to find out what the truth is," said Cartwright.

The new owners, Treetop Management, are in the process of making changes including having a state-of-the-art video surveillance system.

The owners have made it clear there's not enough money in the budget to have round-the-clock security.

"A work in progress. Going to take a long time. We're here next 15 years. We are here for long term," said John Van Metre.

Last year, the feds came down hard on Sherman Hills which was under former ownership and received government money to provide low-income housing.

One resident told Newswatch 16, it's taken a long time to see something done about the problems.

"And now? After all this? All these shootings. People killing each other, he should have showed up earlier," said Jean Bayyoud, resident.

While there may be new blinds on the windows at Sherman Hills, task force members believe it's a change in culture that's needed helping people who live here with more than just security.

"We have to support these endeavors just as much as we do concerns about fences, the cameras, this is just as important. If not the problem just continues to get worse and the community will suffer from it," said Angel Jirau, task force member.

As far as the violations the Department of Housing and Urban Development found last year, task force members said Sherman Hills is on its way to fixing those problems but did not give Newswatch 16 the specifics.


  • Johnson

    No one cares about poor people until it becomes an inconvenience to them. That’s it in a nutshell folks. That combined with a futile government and dirty politics.

    • tom

      I consider myself a poor person-certainly not well off,and I have never been invovled in the sort of idiotic things going on at Sherman’s lazy-trashy people at this complex.If they worked instead of drug dealing and did something positive about their lives instead of the stupid domestic problems they’d be better off.And don’t start a squable about no jobs-there are jobs around.I have worked all my life and had no time for the crap these people are up to.

      • Observed

        There is no way they are going to control that complex unless they have 24 hour foot patrols……i say fine the owners into bankruptcy and then level it.

  • Sean Levandoski

    They should build a wall around it , add guard towers and call it luzerne county prison… There’s more criminals there than the prison !!!!

  • Anna Lamoreux

    They should shut down the whole thing, clear everyone out. Then stop taking money from government, pay your full rent or don’t live here. Do full background checks. Monthly inspections, and if there is anyone living in with someone and is not on the lease, eviction! Any crime committed in your apartment, eviction! First & last month rent plus security up front, paid, no government money, just like a regular apartment complex .

    • E

      Anna people like you described have absolutely no interest in moving to the coal region. You are clearly missing this very important fact that explains this situation. That area is falling apart and will continue to do so because no decent people from outside that area will move there. The region is a backward area where addiction and abuse is ingrained in the culture, but denied by the locals. You and many others may view your home town as a decent place to live but the opinion of those you are trying to attract is what matters, not your opinion. I feel most in the area can’t grasp this simple idea. The “culture” that has been created in that region over the last several decades is unacceptable to any decent person. That’s why mostly criminals have moved to that area and the reason for your despair. If you don’t believe this to be true then contact one of the many thousands that could afford to flee the area before the housing collapse. Even if they were being sensitive to your feelings in the past by not being truthful I’m sure they’ll now be honest in their reasons for leaving. I often wonder why so many people in that area complain in the same manner as you. Do you not understand the situation, or more likely you’re part of the problem and complaining out of guilt. The behavior of the “locals” has driven out the decent people years ago, so this is what arrives to fill the gaps. Bottom line is criminals are the only people willing to move to this area. Most locals won’t acknowledge this fact because of denial so there is no chance to remedy the situation.

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