'They have a responsibility': Councilman shares thoughts on troubled Pontiac complex

Posted at 7:10 PM, May 20, 2024

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — On Monday, 7 News Detroit discussed North Hill Farms apartments with City Councilman Mikal Goodman.

We visited the complex in April after a deadly shooting involving multiple victims. It was similar to another shooting in the summer of 2023.

Watch our previous report about the deadly shooting involving multiple victims below:

Deadly triple shooting marks latest violence at Pontiac apartments

Resident Teresa Woods said she’s had peace within her North Hill Farms apartment for the past four years.

“It’s livable, outside of the violence. That’s our greatest concern," Woods said. “I pretty much keep to myself (and) don’t bother nobody, and nobody bothers me."

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Teresa Woods talks about violence at North Hill Farms apartment in Pontiac. (May, 20, 2024)

The city said the complex planned to install cameras this spring, but 7 News Detroit is told it hasn’t started yet.

“I think the complex is making a start by putting up cameras, but I believe that they also need to do thorough background checks,” Woods said.

To find out if there have been any significant police calls to the complex in the past month, 7 News Detroit reached out to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, which said "nothing of note."

VIDEO: Six homicides at Pontiac's North Hill Farms apartments in two years, sheriff says

People living in the North Hill Farms apartments are few up with violence

Goodman met me at the complex to discuss the issues he said he's more than familiar with and what needs to be done.

“This is one of the worst and probably still is one of the lower ranked apartment complexes in the city of Pontiac. People here live here because it’s somewhere they can get in. It’s where they can afford to be and somewhere that provides shelter," he explained.

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Pontiac City Councilman Mikal Goodman, left, talks with 7 News Detroit reporter Darren Cunningham about violence at North Hill Farms apartments. (May 20, 2024)

"Every time people would talk about it, it was very much like no one wanted to deal with it."

He said installing cameras and having increased police presence are not preventative and are all secondary to investing in the people.

“It’s the fact that this has been happening for a very long time, and until we actually address it and we address it for what it is being that crime is not just a matter of people want to do crime. It’s a matter of people are in need of something and so we need to get better at addressing the needs of people," Goodman said.

He suggests a systemic approach is needed by getting people adequate resources they need to function productively.

VIDEO: Neighborhood desperate for answers after another shooting, city discusses camera installation

Neighborhood desperate for answers after another shooting

“There needs to be some care not only done on the governmental aspect but also on the part of North Hill Farms," he said.

“They're making money. They have a responsibility. They are getting federal funds from HUD to exists. So like, there is some expectation that they also have a part in making sure that things are done correctly.”

Monday morning, 7 News Detroit called the complex owner, American Community Developers, which is based in Harper Woods. They initially hung up on me.

The second person who picked up took my information down and told me she would relay my message.

As of news time, I have not heard back from American Community Developers.