Hartford residents are celebrating a victory over a slum landlord.
Tenants in 150 units were living in deplorable conditions in the city's north end.
They organized and got federal officials to pull the plug on a contract with the landlord.
On Monday, the Department of Housing and Urban Development met with some of those tenants.
This didn't happen overnight, it took years of complaining and finally, their voices have been heard.
The feds have terminated a million-dollar contract with the owner of these buildings.
"A slumlord who never should have been given a HUD contract,” said AJ Johnson, a community activist.
They have lived with rats and mice, mold and unsafe conditions, but the Hartford residents will get finally get what they've been asking for.
They get the chance to move to a better place.
They have been urging city and federal officials to do something about the condition of their apartments.
After 11 months their petitions and fliers have paid off.
HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is now revoking a $1 million contract with Emmanuel Ku, an absentee landlord who owns 26 buildings.
HUD secretary Ben Carson went to Hartford to meet with tenants.
"I am pleased they have gotten involved. These situations that work the best are where there are active resident’s councils,” said Carson.
“What’s important is yes, they shave been fighting and advocating for their families, but they were also fighting and advocating for their neighborhood and for their city and fairness across the country,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.
HUD has also agreed to help relocate these residents to other section 8 housing within the city.
Housing that must be safe and be in decent and sanitary condition.
Thee residents spent months navigating a complex system and they never gave up.
"People all over America will recognize being a tenant is more than living in a house and keeping it clean, it’s advocating for your rights,” said Teri Morrison, a Hartford resident.
These residents are now working with the city to find clean affordable housing.
The concern now is what will happen to all these buildings.
The hope is this will be a wake up call to other slumlords.
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