Lead poisoning cases are down in Maryland, however — the number of cases linked to homes not covered by Maryland law is on the rise. Sounds like it’s time to amend the law.
Speaking of lead paint — the venerable Kennedy Krieger Institute is being sued in a class-action lawsuit filed by Baltimore attorney Billy Murphy. In the lawsuit, Murphy alleges Kennedy Krieger exposed poor black children to dangerous levels of lead.
Not only is Paul Graziano in the hot seat for refusing to pay settlements of lead paint cases, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa would also like to know how Baltimore’s Housing Authority spent $67 million in federal stimulus money. We’d like to know the answer to that, too.
Jamie Smith Hopkins reports the number of vacant homes in Maryland has increased by 35%, in Baltimore alone, the number rose by 10%. Jamie also wrote a post about rents in Baltimore — and a number of commenters wondered if the high rents charged by landlords who own subsidized housing is skewing the average rent figures — In 2009, the Cato Institute brought this up in an article on federally subsidized housing:
Some landlords, in fact, specialize in Section 8, becoming experts at the complex regulations, and they skillfully work the system to their financial advantage. With Section 8 tenants, landlords don’t have to worry about nonpayment, because the government deposits its share of the rent—the lion’s share—directly into the property owner’s bank account. Moreover, for many buildings the government-paid rent is more than the market rent would be. The reason is that the program allows voucher holders to pay up to the average rent in their entire metropolitan area, and landlords in lower-income neighborhoods, where rents are below average, simply charge voucher holders exactly that average rent.