Residents of condemned city apartments want justice: ‘He’s gonna get his’

RICHMOND, Va. -- With no gas to heat her stove or her water, Je'Taime Solomon can't wait to say "peace out" to her current apartment complex: Hawthorne Hall on Chamberlayne Avenue.

"I'm moving the last of my stuff out right now," Solomon said Thursday evening.

The City of Richmond condemned her apartment and 49 others on Wednesday after finding unsafe living conditions there, including more than 20 gas leaks.

"This is about as poorly a run apartment complex and management group as I have run across in my 20 years of experience," John Walsh, City of Richmond Code Enforcement Operations Manager, said.

Je'Taime Solomon

Residents had to find new housing within 24 hours, but by Wednesday, a judge decided to allow the residents to stay in the apartments for another 30 days, giving them more time to find new accommodations.

"Another 30 days I don't believe endangers anybody's life," Walsh said.

Yet Chip Nunley, a lawyer representing residents pro bono, said the landlord is not following the law.

"The law says the landlord has the obligation to put the tenant up in alternative suitable housing and cover the cost of their move to suitable housing," Nunley said.

But the owner, an LLC based out of Delaware and managed by a man named Aaron Gorin, did not show up in court Wednesday, and according to the city, is not making repairs and not helping residents find new housing.

Aaron Gorin

"I've talked to Mr. Gorin one time, I said you have people living in squalor in your apartment building, you've got to do something about it, and he said this is just a financial decision for me," Nunley said.

A previous CBS 6 investigation into Gorin and the 10 LLCs associated with him found they owned roughly 900 apartment units in Richmond, including many at The Flats at Ginter Park, more than 200 of which were condemned due to unsafe living conditions.

"Karma gets whoever, karma is a b****. Sorry I said that on TV," Solomon said. "He's gonna get his. It's sad, he did this to like a thousand people, kids, blind people, elderly people here."

Nunley said he now hopes to get the Richmond Commonwealth's Attorney's office to file criminal charges against Gorin.

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