YWN MAILBAG: Are Slumlords ‘Killing’ Quiet Lakewood Neighborhoods?

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Dear YWN,

Lakewood, NJ – The scene is all too familiar.

Someone from our community is robbed, has his house vandalized or the like; we usually have the same reaction. Either we scream and yell why the Police response time was too delayed, or we say to ourselves, “thankfully I live on the other side of town, not my worry.”

The next steps taken are meetings with local officials, pictures taken, and life moves forward.

Life sadly will not move forward for Officer Chris Matlosz who was patrolling my neighborhood this past Friday when he was cruelly gunned down doing his duty.

We can do something positive this time.

How many people do you know that own houses in Raintree as investments?

Will this killing finally be a wake-up call to these so called investors that they are really putting lives at stake? Why is their financial security more important than an entire neighborhood’s safety? Could you imagine the backlash if someone rented their house on avenue I and East twenty Third Street to a family of street thugs or illegal’s? Yet it is OK for them to rent their houses in Raintree to a family of known Drug dealers and ex convicts. Does anyone else think this is absurd? A back ground check would work if only the person being checked is the tenant. We all see these houses, four pickup trucks and three random cars parked in by the curb and all over the once well kept lawn.

The police were here this time, keeping our neighborhood safe. This officer paid the price for my family’s safety.

Kalmen Cane
Lakewood, NJ.

For previous YWN Mailbag letters about the slumlords in Lakewood, Click HERE.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


11 COMMENTS

  1. Please research your info the shooter lived on edgewood place a quiet block off rt9 that has not had reports of trouble the police hardly know it exists you made it sound like a member of our community rented to him on raintree and also just because someone went to jail doesnt make him a career criminal people do change

  2. Kalmen your point is very valid , however you know and i know it all has to do with the money .
    what i think you should do is as follows . take these complaints to the local rabonim and ask them what can be done here. now that Police Officer Chris Matlosz has been brutally murdered it is now in my humble opinion becomes a question of pekuach nefesh , were to save lives everything becomes permitted and if that means going to the local press to vent so be it.

  3. Kalmen, your point is valid but there’s no practical application that can be pursued. I personally own a house in Raintree that now has random cars parked on the once well-kept lawn. We would gladly unload it and are willing to sell for exactly what we bought it for, not a penny more, but can’t afford for a penny less either. If the local rabbonim found billionaires to buy up these houses so we all don’t have to rent out to lowlives, but for the time being I think the billionaires have plenty other worthy tzedakas to be donating to.

  4. I’m not sure I agree, you make a lot of assumption. Maybe the landlord has owed the house for twenty years before any yid moved in. 2nd who said they rent to violate gangs there are plenty of government project that those people live in and that has nothing to do with landlords.

  5. The points made by Mr. Cane are quite valid. Allowing potentially dangerous people to rent apartments and houses in close vicinity to our community members exposes all of us in such communities to risk. There are people out there who deal in drugs. There are people who are criminals. There are people who are violent. And then there are those who knowingly rent to such people.

    There are ways to dissuade such landlords. It was done in other communities. It can be done in Lakewood. It requires the “political will” of community leaders. One thing is certain, however: the police should not be expected to risk their lives for the safety of those who are too timid to stand up to “their own,” those of us who allow dangerous people to live in our communities to turn a profit.

    Leon Zacharowicz

  6. I agree that things need to change but to blame everything on investors is silly. Firstly as mentioned above the suspect did not live in the neighborhood. Secondly, these types were in Raintree and surrounding areas (Golfview, Woodlake) well before the neighborhood started to change over. I feel for you and all raintree residents, however lets not make like you moved into the most peaceful neighborhood and then someone came and messed it up.

  7. REALITYCHECKER HAS A POINT IN THAT THESE INVESTORS MAY HAVE OWNED PROPERTY FOR MANY YEARS PRIOR TO THE INFLUX OF YIDDEN. HOWEVER, IT IS NEVER RIGHT TO RENT TO CRIMINAL ELEMENTS.

    THE PROBLEM IS (AS YESHIVALEIT SAID) THAT YOU CAN DO A BACKGROUND CHECK WHICH COMES OUT CLEAN, ONLY TO FIND THAT THE “CLEAN” INDIVIDUAL HAS NOT-SO-CLEAN FRIENDS WHO JOIN HIM/HER. DOES THE INVESTOR HAVE THE COURAGE TO MOVE FOR EVICTION AT THAT POINT? WOULD THE LAW SUPPORT HIM?

  8. Kalman, thanks for your letter, and thanks for signing it with you real name!
    Sadly,we had a wake up call 1 1/2 years ago here in CHESTNUT, where 4 cops were shot, and the house this known drug dealer/thug lived is WAS owned by one of own. NOTHING was done, and unfortunately our once beautiful (owner occupied) neighborhood is now unkept and has lots of houses with MANY cars in the driveway, and many cars coming and going etc.
    I hope something CAN get done for all the wonderful neighborhoods in Lakewood.

  9. yeshivaleit -I’m glad you call yourself a yeshivaleit and Not a Torah yid. You are proof they aren’t one in the same. 1. Your money isn’t as important as someone’s life. 2. Even if these criminals were and would never be violent, they steal, make noise, garbage, drugs and other nusiances of themselves. In my Torah, we pasken “Al Hamzik L’harchek”. In other words -you have to stop being a Mazik, even if you lose money!

  10. #8 – Health – Yes, essential point. Not to be MAZIK even if you lose money. However, how many in Lkwd are consulting rabbaim??? I don’t live in NJ, which reportedly (about 3 years ago) had 30 -yes 30 – gangs (gangs means organized criminal groups). No doubt the Gemmorah has dealt with this problem!

  11. Lkwdeals- The author did not write anywhere that the shooter resided in Raintree- you missed the boat on that- the point I understood WHAT WAS THE SHOOTER DOING IN RAINTREE-

    -Yeshivaleit- there is something that we in the business world refer to as A LOSING INVESTMENT- I feel for you that you took your Chasunah moola and overpaid on a house in hopes of flipping it for a profit- Cut your losses and move on—