Whitehall Takes Aim At ‘Problem Condos’


UPDATED: Tuesday May 29, 2012 5:27 AM

City officials said that they planned to demolish a number of condos if owners did not take action soon, 10 Investigates’ Paul Aker reported on Monday.

Those responsible for the Woodcliff Condominiums, located along East Broad Street, said that they working to fix problems that one man said left him needing surgery, Aker reported.

“This is really going to take a toll on my career,” Michael Gray said. “So, it’s not something I was looking forward to at all.”

Gray said that it was hard to get around because he fell through his mother’s porch.

“I never in a million years thought I would have fallen through a porch,” Gray said. “Especially a cement one at that.”

Gray’s mother said that her landlord failed to fix the stoop even though an inspection report showed that that it needed it.

“On April 10, they were told the rear stoop exhibits excessive wear and tear,” Gray’s mother said. “They were told to fix it, and he fell through on May 14.”

Other residents said that they faced similar problems, Aker reported.

Jarel Jefferson said that construction crews that work for the condo’s owner left wires exposed.

“One of the kids could touch it and shock themselves,” Jefferson said.

Michael Shannon, Whitehall’s attorney, said that the city had given the owner enough time to make repairs.

He said that he asked a judge to be able to demolish 30 homes.

A judge declared the entire complex a nuisance four years ago, Aker reported.

“Our intent in filling this action was to get their attention – to say, ‘If you don’t do what the court has told you to do, we’re prepared to take drastic action,’” Shannon said.

A man in charge of cleaning up the problems at the condos said that he was working fixing the problems. He said that conditions were much better than they were a few years ago.

The man said that there were 211 condos that were deemed in bad shape a few years ago, and now there are 45 condos.

He also said that as the economy gets better, investors would put more money into repairs.

Gray said that the repairs did not come soon enough.

“I’m in excruciating pain,” Gray said.

A spokesman for the condo association said that once condo officials realized that Gray was hurt, they immediately helped him. They said that the porch was fixed, Aker reported.

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