East Orange City officials are heated and to vow punish the owner of a senior citizen building that has been left without air conditioning as temperatures rise above 90 degrees the entire week.
Residents at the Mciver Homes Senior Apartments located at 111 Munn Avenue contacted RLS Media after the 9-story building reported temperatures inside at 105 degrees on Monday, 102 on Tuesday and at 11 a.m. today, 87 degrees.
Most of the residents at the Mciver Home average between the ages of 75-100 years old.
In a statement released by East Orange city officials, a spokeswoman said Mayor Ted R. Green and the East Orange City Council are aware of the situation at 111 South Munn Avenue and have been working diligently to rectify it.
In 2019, residents living in the building were forced to evacuate and spent more than eight months in area hotels as health officials found a severe growth of black mold growing in various parts of the building. Residents told RLS Media that the building owner at the time paid the living expenses for all residents staying at the hotels.
Senior Citizens inside the building praised East Orange City Councilman Casim Gomez for his swift action and for communicating with residents during the crisis.
"We have been responsive and steadfast in ensuring that this issue is resolved," Fourth Ward Councilman Casim Gomez said.
The 87-unit residence has been owned by Carthage Advisors since at least 2013, property records show. While tenants pay a portion of their rent, the rest is covered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The local housing authority, which administers federal payments, said those dollars are being withheld pending improvements to the building.
Columbia University NY said their adjucnt professor, Mr. Ed Poteat, is a leading developer of affordable housing in the New York City metropolitan area. Currently, Mr. Poteat is the Founder and President of Carthage Advisors, an affordable housing real estate firm that specializes in the redevelopment of older government subsidized properties according to Columbia University.
Residents said Poteat or building managers can never be reached for assistance and lied to them last week about when the air conditioning units would be repaired.
"The owners are being held accountable and have been instructed by our Department of Code Enforcement to immediately implement a temporary solution followed by a viable long-term solution to relieve residents during this heatwave and for the duration of the summer," Councilman Casim Gomez said.
East Orange City officials said a Code Enforcement officer visited the building Tuesday and today.