By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
It seems I read or hear about run-down, unsafe, filthy housing almost daily.
Nearly every municipality or county has building codes that are intended to keep housing clean and safe for residents, whether they are homeowners or tenants.
Yet problems with sub-standard living conditions seem to drag on for years with no resolution.
Here are a few examples.
Affordable rental building in Newark
Let’s start with a HUD-funded, privately-owned apartment building complex in Newark, NJ, owned by Realty Management Associates, an out-of-state corporation.
No doubt, these landlords are collecting rent subsidies and enjoying the benefit of tax credits or deductions for providing “affordable” housing. That’s right, your tax dollars are paying for apartments that are moldy, rat-infested, a potential fire hazard, and a haven for drug addicts.
According to the report, the code violations go back ten years.
How does this sort of affordable housing actually “help” residents?
4 NEWARK BUILDINGS CONDEMNED DUE TO RATS, MOLD, LEAKS AND OTHER ISSUES
A landmark hotel-condominium in a swanky Florida resort
At the other end of the spectrum, here’s a report about a hotel condominium in a historic, landmark building in Palm Beach, FL. Hotel condos are popular with investors interested in short-term vacation rentals. They are usually located in resort locations.
Charles Barone was once an employee of Palm Beach Hotel Condo. When he noticed problems with mold, he told condo President Shay Pallas. Allegedly, when Barone refused to conceal mold problems and other defects from buyers and guests, his employment was terminated by Pallas.
Barone has filed a whistleblower lawsuit that will probably drag on for several years.
Former Palm Beach Hotel condo employee files whistleblower lawsuit – See more at: http://www.palmbeachdailynews.com/photo/news/crime-law/former-palm-beach-hotel-condo-employee-files-whist/pCs4RG/#.dpuf
“Carefree” condos in a populous residential neighborhood
This multifamily housing complex was built in 2000 as rental apartments. Then they were converted to condos several years later.
The problem is, stucco over wood frame buildings tend to take a beating in Florida’s humidity and torrential summer rains. According to a Orange County Circuit Judge Lisa T. Munyon, the entire complex is “unfit for human habitation,” and is infested with $40Million worth of structural damages due to shoddy construction that has allowed water infiltration.
So much for that “great investment” or retirement savings. At this point, the condos are worth a fraction of what owners paid about a decade ago.
Orlando MetroWest condo complex faces millions in code-violation fines