New Jersey's 11th Legislative District

Senator Jennifer Beck

Senator Jennifer Beck

Beck & Rice Say Pueblo City Inspection Shows Severity of Housing Problem

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Senator Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth) and Senator Ron Rice (D-Essex) said that a recent failing inspection score for Pueblo City in Newark shows the severity of the unsafe and unsanitary conditions that tenants are forced to live in at some rental housing complexes in New Jersey.

Sen. Jennifer Beck and Pueblo City resident Yanira Cortes during a tour of rental housing complexes in Asbury Park and Newark with Sen. Ronald Rice on July 11, 2017. (Facebook/Jennifer Beck)

The Senators learned that Pueblo City scored 10 out of 100 on a recent Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) inspection of the complex by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Several weeks ago, another subsidized rental unit, Garden Spires, passed a HUD REAC inspection despite abhorrent conditions. Since that time, HUD administrators and State officials have worked with Senators Beck and Rice to tighten HUD’s inspection guidelines.

“It’s astounding that landlords continue to be paid by the federal and/or State government while forcing families to live with the hordes of rats, cockroaches, crumbling walls, and years of black mold that we have seen at Pueblo City,” said Beck. “It’s a positive sign that HUD is engaged and unwilling to rubber stamp inspections for subsidized housing with such abhorrent conditions that are clearly a significant threat to the health and safety of these residents. The light that has been shed on the poor state of rental housing in New Jersey will lead to better living conditions for renters across the state.”

Today Senator Ron Rice and I visited unsanitary, substandard rental housing in #AsburyPark and #Newark. There were rat…

Posted by Jennifer Beck on Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beck and Rice sponsor S-3270, the “Safe Sanitary Subsidized Rental Housing Bill of Rights,” to hold negligent landlords accountable for dangerous, unsanitary, and unsafe conditions in subsidized housing.

The bill addresses the deplorable living conditions uncovered in the recent Asbury Park Press (APP) investigative series, “Renter Hell,” which found children and families living side by side with rats and cockroaches, crumbling walls and ceilings, a lack of  heat and hot water, and human waste. Many of sites investigated were in Asbury Park and Newark.

“We continue to bring these issues to the attention of federal and State officials to advocate for the wellbeing of our residents. The living conditions we have seen in our many visits to these complexes are disturbing and concerning,” Rice continued. “I am hopeful that our constant pressure from leadership in the Legislature, HUD, the Department of Community Affairs, and municipal officials will result in overdue necessary and positive change for these families.”

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