Plainfield, NJ building owners under fire as evicted families face desperation

The owners of six buildings in Plainfield, NJ, including 501 and 515 West 7th Street, where 80 families were just evicted, showed up Wednesday to a mob scene, made up of angry residents with nowhere to go.

"There’s a lady who just baby, who’s in the hospital, three days ago and now has nowhere to come home to," said Cindy Guzman, who alerted the media to eviction. 

Signs from the city were posted Tuesday and seen that night only after people got off of work. In bold, it says "condemnation notice" and that after inspection the buildings are "unfit for human habitation."

The city told FOX 5 they found mold-like stains, water leaks, and damage, several holes in ceilings, broken windows, poor ventilation, and uncapped gas conductors that were active fire hazards—as well as mice droppings. There was also a sewage pipe in the basement with no cap resulting in sewage leaking onto the floor.

Image 1 of 4

"This, unfortunately, happens mostly to the Latino community because they don’t fight back. They stay quiet because they’re afraid," said Carmen Salavarrieta, of Angels for Ashes and a resident advocate.

Henry Monterroso stood outside city hall met by staff was signing people up for a five-day hotel stay and some money for food. 

But he says that’s not enough time to find an apartment, the parents are panicking as their kids’ schools start up in a few weeks—

And with no word of a refund for August rent, now no one has cash.

The city says last inspection of the buildings occurred in June of 2022 when they cited the owners with 235 violations that were never addressed. The city also said it spoke with the owners Charles Aryeh and Aaron Eichron. 

"It is clear to us that this landlord is heartless and uncaring about his tenants and is driven by greed and profit," said Mayor Adrian O. Mapp. "The City of Plainfield will continue to investigate and prosecute all landlords and building owners that choose profits over the safety of their tenants. "

The owners could not be reached for comment.