Tagged: HABC

City-Owned Blight: 2202 Orleans Street

Property Address:  2202 Orleans Street, Baltimore, MD 21231

Property Owner:  Housing Authority of Baltimore City, 417 E Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

City Council District and Contact: District 13, Warren Branch

State Senator: Nathaniel McFadden

State Delegates: Talmadge Branch, Nina R. Harper, Cheryl Glenn

2202 Orleans Street

2202 Orleans Street — also note the Frank Conaway campaign sign on a city-owned property.

Neighbors complained to HABC in 2010 about this house being a drug nuisance, but despite overwhelming evidence of criminal activity (including raids and drug arrests), HABC didn’t begin eviction proceedings until 2012.

City-Owned Blight: 3131 Oakford Avenue

Property Address:  3131 Oakford Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215

Property Owner:  Mayor and City Council, 417 E Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 (property was transferred from the Housing Authority of Baltimore City in 2011.)

City Council District and Contact:  District 6, Sharon Green Middleton

State Senator:  Catherine Pugh

State Delegates:  Barbara RobinsonShawn TarrantFrank Conaway, Jr.

3131 Oakford Avenue

3131 Oakford Avenue

 

HABC and Accountability?

If you haven’t already watched this video that appeared on WBAL’s website recently, you should.  (But not while eating.  You’ll thank me for the warning later.)  In the video, reporter David Collins walks around a rental home owned by Steven McFadgen, a Virginia attorney.  McFadgen had rented the home to a low-income tenant under HUD’s Section 8 program — a program that is administered locally in Baltimore by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC), headed by Paul Graziano.

Interesting to note — the tenant, while receiving Section 8 benefits — is also a Section 8 housing inspector, employed by HABC.  In other words — it’s her job to make sure landlords who participate in the Section 8 rental program are maintaining their homes in a safe and healthy manner.  And she’s also employed by the city’s housing authority — apparently at a salary rate that qualifies her for federal housing benefits.

Listing for Shauntae R Jones, HABC Inspector, in the Baltimore municipal phone directory.

Listing for Shauntae Jones, HABC Inspector, in the Baltimore municipal phone directory.

I won’t go into detail about the video — it’s nauseating (hence my warning about not eating while watching) — but I will tell you that the words “feces, roaches, and trash” are mentioned.

If this is how this woman and her family live — perhaps she isn’t qualified to inspect properties.  I’ve heard stories from landlords about their homes being trashed — this is the first time I’ve seen photos/video of something this awful. And the refusal of HABC to take action against its employee is mind-boggling.  With so many in Baltimore who are out of work — surely they could find someone more qualified for this position than Ms. Jones.

This story is more about Ms. Jones and the way she apparently lives — it’s about HABC and yet again, it’s just another example of the utter lack of accountability within the organization. Hopefully some day we’ll have a mayor and city council that understand our city — even its poorest residents — need and deserve better leadership for all of our city agencies, but especially at HABC.

City-Owned Blight: 703 and 701 E Chase Street

Many thanks to Reader Rusty for the photo and information!

Property Address:  703 and 701 East Chase Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Property Owner (703):  Housing Authority of Baltimore City, 417 E Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Property Owner (701):  Mayor and City Council, 417 E Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

City Council District and Contact:  District 12, Carl Stokes

State Senator:  Catherine Pugh

State Delegates:  Barbara RobinsonShawn TarrantFrank Conaway, Jr.

703 and 701 E Chase Street

703 and 701 E Chase Street

A City-Owned Duo of Blight: 4224 and 4226 Park Heights Avenue

Property Address:  4224 and 4226 Park Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215

Property Owner (4224):  Mayor and City Council, 417 E Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

Property Owner (4226):  Housing Authority of Baltimore City, 417 E Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21202

City Council District and Contact:  District 6, Sharon Green Middleton

State Senator:  Catherine Pugh

State Delegates:  Barbara RobinsonShawn TarrantFrank Conaway, Jr.

4224 and 4226 Park Heights Avenue

4224 and 4226 Park Heights Avenue

 

Link Roundup

Lots of good stuff in the news this week!

In the Baltimore Sun, Luke Broadwater reports the Housing Authority of Baltimore City has disbanded and laid off its Housing Security Unit.  These were the folks responsible for “investigating illegal occupants, nuisance activity, unsecured vacants and vandalism”, according to the article.

Developer Mark Manzo wanted to demolish part of a historic 19th Century church to make way for a parking lot for his new townhouses in Butcher’s Hill.  According to this Baltimore Brew article, the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP) denied the petition, as several neighbors, and District 13 Councilman Warren Branch protested the effort.  One neighbor called the townhouses “boring”.

Vacants are everywhere, including Japan, says Business Insider.

Since you can’t talk about vacants without mentioning Detroit… S&P has downgraded Wayne County’s credit rating to two steps above “junk”, says Bloomberg.  That’s gotta hurt.

You can’t really talk about vacants without mentioning Baltimore or HUD, either — and the Baltimore Sun reports that HUD is shrinking its Baltimore office staff by one-third, as part of a consolidation effort.

In the UK, investors and landlords are being targeted by mortgage scammers.

Speaking of the UK, Britain’s biggest mortgage fraudster was given an extra four years in prison for conspiring to defraud two banks of £61 million, according to the London Evening Standard.  One of his previous scams was selling bogus manorial titles to Americans.

Dozens of homes in New Orleans were moved and then left to deteriorate, at taxpayer expense, according to WWLVT Channel 4.  The nonprofit in charge of renovating the homes, Builders of Hope, is no longer involved in the project.  If you recall, the Baltimore Sun reported back in 2012, the same nonprofit was supposed to partner with Ray Lewis to renovate 500 homes in Baltimore, and that seems to have gone nowhere.

You know life has taken a bad turn when the feds are busting down the door, looking for your 40+ year old son who’s living in your basement.  Van Smith from the City Paper reports on former deputy mayor and state delegate Salima Siler Marriott’s latest woes.

And speaking of the feds — Philadelphia’s notorious “Slumlord Millionaire” Robert Coyle is on his way to the pokey after defrauding a couple of banks.  Nevermind the fact that he’s allegedly swindled people in his “rent to own” schemes, and forced citizens in the Kensington neighborhood of Philly to live next to his blighted nasty homes…oh, and how about the fact that he treated his tenants worse than animals and forced some of them to live without plumbing or heat?  But hey — he defrauded a couple of banks, so off to the clink he goes!

Because sometimes I like to save the best for last…

The man who raped a 13 year old girl in a vacant home (owned at the time by disbarred attorney John Reiff) has been sentenced to four life sentences.  Count ’em — 1-2-3-4.  I would say justice has been served quite nicely — I hope he also has to pay for the counseling the survivor will need to be able to move past such a horror.