Annapolis housing chief promises to focus on buildings' physical defects

May 21, 2001|By Laura Cadiz | Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

After a federal report found substandard conditions at 10 Annapolis public housing neighborhoods, the head of the Annapolis Housing Authority is pledging to focus on the buildings' physical conditions - and to seek financing to pay for improvements.

Executive Director Patricia Holden Croslan, whose contract was extended a week ago amid harsh criticism from residents about housing conditions, noted the age of the buildings to explain the poor physical ratings in the recent U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development report.

"Some of the properties are old, up to 60 years old," said Croslan, warning, "I am not going to be able to bring those properties up to HUD standards in a few years."

But Carl O. Snowden, special assistant to County Executive Janet S. Owens, said the May 5 Public Housing Assessment System study "speaks volumes" about Croslan's performance as director.

"What it does is substantiate what residents have been saying about the physical conditions of public housing, which is that it's deplorable," Snowden said.

The advisory report found what it called "life-threatening deficiencies," which could include exposed wires or light switches without plates, in eight of the 10 neighborhoods.

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