Nikita White Was Placed In What She Thought Was Her Dream House In Newark, But It Turned Out To Be Anything But

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Another New Yorker has reached out to CBS2 with a forgotten families story.

The city moved the Queens native to Newark through a special program designed to put those in need in a home long term, but it’s a home that is caving in on her, CBS2’s Tara Jakeway reported Tuesday.

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Nikita White works full time in Manhattan and had her own apartment until her rent was raised and she had no choice but to enter the Department of Homeless Services — or DHS — shelter system. Two years later, she thought she had her dream house through the Special One-Time Assistance Program.

“A lot of those shelters are quite dangerous, so I needed to get out,” White said, adding when asked if she’d rather be in a shelter now than in the house, “Yes, yes.”

She was placed in a home on South 15th Street in Newark on Aug. 2 when she says her real nightmare began.

The ceiling inside Nikita White’s bathroom in her home in Newark. (Photo: CBS2)

“First, there were roaches. The first night I emptied a can of Raid just dealing with roaches. Then a couple days later there were mice and I hear them crawling through the walls,” White said.

Then on Nov. 17, “That was the day that the toilet would no longer flush. I use a bucket,” White said.

The apartment is now flooded.

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CBS2’s Jakeway stood in White’s living room and what she saw was a little shocking. The ceiling collapsed back in November.

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Her situation is unique to the families CBS2 has met so far, because it is only her, a 59-year-old single woman, who says DHS tried to ignore her.

“The shelter wouldn’t take me out on any ‘go-sees,’ as they call them, so I went with this independent broker,” White said.

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That independent broker, who would not consent to be recorded, told CBS2 he’s placed over 20 families in SOTA houses throughout New Jersey, none with issues like this. As for the landlord, the broker said he was duped by that owner. White is suing the landlord, who is known only as “Gertrude,” whose lawyer CBS2 reached by phone.

“We do view it as frivolous litigation. There are certain steps that need to be taken by the tenant,” Peter G. Aziz said.

White has been footing the bill for a storage unit for all of her belongings while she stays with friends because she’s stuck for a year in the SOTA program.

“The homeless person is only good for that program for one year. They can never, ever, ever get on that program again. But the landlord can rent that same apartment every single year,” White said.

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By that time she wanted to have a home where her adult son could come visit her when he’s back from deployment. Ade White is stationed with the U.S. Army in Germany. She doesn’t want him to know she is in her own war zone.