Last updated: April 03. 2014 11:10PM - 2147 Views
By - jlynott@civitasmedia.com

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WILKES-BARRE — The sale of the Sherman Hills apartment complex will include the Section 8 contract for rent subsidies, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said.

The deal between owner Sherman Hills Realty LLC of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Treetop Development of Teaneck, N.J., had a target date of Tuesday. A confidentiality agreement keeps them from commenting until after the closing.

A hearing scheduled for next week in Luzerne County Court could affect the sale.

The family of a woman fatally shot at the complex last year sought an injunction so that the proceeds of the sale are held in escrow pending the outcome of a lawsuit against the current owner and its management company, Park Management Inc.

HUD spokeswoman Niki Edwards indicated a deal was in the works for the 344-unit complex.

“The process is moving forward, and we expect the transfer to be effective this month,” Edwards said in an email Thursday. “By transfer, I mean the process by which an assignment and assumption of the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Contract is granted to the new owners.”

Last year, HUD paid Sherman Hills $1.7 million in Section 8 subsidies for low-income housing, but the funding was in jeopardy due to the crime at and the condition of the privately held property.

A task force of federal, state and local elected officials and community leaders was created as a result of HUD’s 2013 report critical of the management of the complex. U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Moosic, who led the task force and learned of the pending sale during a March 13 meeting with HUD officials, sought assurances that the changes proposed by Sherman Hills were made by the new owner.

Late last month, a contractor began installing an 8-foot-high chain-link fence around the complex as part of the $100,000 in security upgrades that also include an armed guard patrolling the complex and the construction of a control booth to be staffed around the clock to operate gates at the North Empire Court entrance and on Parkview Circle.

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