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Months Later, Some Forgotten Families Still Find Themselves In Unlivable Conditions – CBS New York


NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — It seems some of the forgotten families CBS2 told you about earlier this year are still being forgotten.

They are working homeless families who are moved from New York City shelters to homes in New Jersey under a program where the city pays rent for one year.

Two of the recipients told CBSN New York’s Lisa Rozner that after a year in an unlivable home, the Department of Homeless Services again moved them into a unit with problems.

Rozner saw one such apartment building on Thursday. It is where two families that were profiled earlier were relocated by New York City. Theysaid the first home, also in Newark, didn’t have doors, electricity or heat. So the family trusted that New York City would make good and find them a better home. However, the family told Rozner it didn’t happen.

(credit: CBS2)

MORE: Forgotten Families Landlord That Ran From CBS2 Pleads Guilty In East Orange Courtroom

Jarvis Cureton delivers mail by day and pesticides by night — inside his own apartment. That’s where he and his wife, Cabria Cummings, say there’s an infestation of roaches and mice.

“They’re in the stove. It sounds like they’re fighting in the stove,” Cummings said. “Sometimes I come in the kitchen at night and I see them coming up from the stove and running around on the stove. We can’t leave anything out.”

The working couple said they’re constantly cleaning droppings off their 2-year-old’s toys and bed, and it wasn’t until they lodged multiple complaints that the landlord turned on the heat.

It’s the second time the family is dealing with unsanitary conditions. The couple from the Bronx said DHS pressured them to move from a shelter to a different home in New Jersey in April 2018 under the Special One-Time Assistance Program, or SOTA.

“For us to not do anything else and still trust in them to bring us to a place, it’s like they brought us to a place and said, ‘OK, you know the landlord; you know this.’ But basic necessities is going to be out the window,” Cureton said.

Another New York City family living in Newark under the same program showed Rozner their floors caving in.

Rozner spoke with the landlord, who denies there was any infestation prior to the tenants moving in. However, she did send an exterminator to the unit on Thursday morning after Rozner left. She also said New York City never gave her a security deposit for the tenants and that she spoke with three inspectors from the city prior to the tenants moving in. Rozner was waiting to see the paperwork. She also contacted DHS and was waiting for a response.

Rozner will have more on this story on the CBS2 News at 6 p.m.

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