Grandmother granted stay of housing eviction order Authority puts woman on probation for year

November 23, 1996|By Marilyn McCraven | Marilyn McCraven,SUN STAFF

Lillie Scott, a 67-year-old grandmother who had been threatened with eviction from McCulloh Homes in West Baltimore as part of an 8-month-old crackdown on criminal activity in public housing, has been given a reprieve by the Housing Authority of Baltimore City,

Yesterday, Housing Authority officials said the eviction notice had been rescinded but that Scott would be placed on probation for a year.

"We want to continue observing the situation," said Housing Authority spokesman Zack Germroth.

After learning of the reprieve from a Sun reporter, Scott said she was relieved not to have to find other housing: "I feel fine that I get a chance to stay in my apartment because I'm not able [financially] to move right now."

Scott was threatened with eviction after her 27-year-old granddaughter, Tammy Taylor, was arrested July 22 a few dTC blocks from Scott's apartment on a cocaine-possession charge. Taylor told police she lived with her grandmother.

In eviction papers, the Housing Authority charged that Scott violated her lease by not ensuring that members of her household or guests avoided criminal activity. The move was part of a federal "one strike and you're out" policy designed to rid public housing of crime.

Scott said she was being punished unfairly because she said her granddaughter doesn't live with her -- and was not visiting the day she was arrested.

In March, President Clinton ordered the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to give public housing agencies the authority to evict residents when they or guests break the law -- even if they're not convicted of a crime.

City Housing Commissioner Daniel P. Henson III said the HUD guidelines reinforce a clause in the city's leases that was enforced sporadically.

Yesterday, Henson said rescinding Scott's eviction order should not be viewed as a softening of the crackdown.

"I'm determined to get drugs out of public housing," Henson said.

Pub Date: 11/23/96

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