No one’s home: Newark and builder at odds over housing project
Quality, in-depth report from Sunday’s Star Ledger about a total train wreck in the construction of a public housing project on Elizabeth Ave. The money and time wasted in the pursuit of these failed housing units would be tragic in and of itself, not accounting for the 16,000 Newark residents in line to move into a housing project.
Not surprisingly, the developer approved to complete the work for the housing authority in 2004 was paying to play: former Deputy Mayor Ron Rice was on the developer payroll as a veep of “government and public affairs.”
Mark Harris Berman, an architect and professional planner with Buric, said it’s not uncommon to find such deficiencies in housing construction but that the problems at the Elizabeth Avenue complex were glaring.
“For example, sealant materials were entirely missing,” he said. “They were not installed wrong, they were just not there. If you leave a hole, water will get in.”
There also were examples of poor workmanship, according to Buric. For example, foundation walls on some units did not line up properly.”
It is as if people didn’t know what they were doing,” Berman said. “Just from the visual observations there are a lot of problems. You are not supposed to see daylight through the roofs.”