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Hartford’s North End residents speak out against predatory landlords

Angel of Edgewood Founder and CEO Jendayi Scott-Miller speaks out against Hartford's slumlords, municipal corruption, and discrimination against poor residents.
Tyler Russell
Connecticut Public
Angel of Edgewood Founder and CEO Jendayi Scott-Miller speaks out against Hartford's slumlords, municipal corruption, and discrimination against poor residents.

Imagine a shower covered in mold and mushrooms, vermin skittering across your feet. That’s what some residents of Hartford’s North End say they experience every day in their apartments that have fallen into disrepair.

At least a dozen residents and community advocates gathered on Albany Avenue Monday during steady rain to discuss the North End’s changing landscape and new developers.

Community advocate Jendayi Scott-Miller, founder of local food donation nonprofit Angel of Edgewood, spoke out against her landlord, Amber “Ace” Andaleeb, and the conditions of her apartment.

Scott-Miller says while she lives in deplorable conditions Andaleeb, owner of real estate firm Andaleeb Enterprises, has grown into a real estate mogul.

Andaleeb owns several properties along Albany Avenue and in the North End and was granted multiple restoration projects on properties owned by the city, including an 8-unit apartment building at 690 Albany Ave.

Andaleeb’s crews began fixing Scott-Miller’s apartment Monday morning, but she says the problem extends beyond her apartment building and has to do with the tendency for out-of-state or out-of-town developers to snap up neighborhood properties.

“My hope is this goes further than just my apartment being fixed,” Scott-Miller said. “We need to put policies in place, we need to look at how the city responds to families.”

Environmental and civil rights attorney Cynthia Jennings says she wants an investigation into who is benefiting most from the area’s land sales and management dealings.

“How the decision is made as to who gets what properties, and how people from out of town and out of state are moving into our communities and taking over properties that are not accessible to the people who live here and pay taxes,” Jennings said.

Residents say landlords who aren’t from the area don’t understand the history and significance of the North End, and are less involved in the community. Andaleeb did not respond to a request for comment.

Hartford hasn’t engaged in formal agreements with Andaleeb on the properties at 614 or 270 Albany Ave., Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement to Connecticut Public. The city will conduct “due diligence” before entering any agreements, Bronin said.

“We worked proactively to encourage a number of developers to consider tackling these properties on Albany Avenue, but Andaleeb was the only firm to respond to the RFP (request for proposals),” the statement read. “The community has long wanted to see progress on these sites, and we've worked hand in hand with the neighborhoods throughout the process.”

The city has been proactive in encouraging a number of developers to consider tackling properties on Albany Avenue, and takes residents’ concerns very seriously, Bronin said.

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.

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