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Housing Code

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NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer | June 30, 1995
Carroll Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown tried to put more bite into the county's Minimum Livability Code for rental housing yesterday. But his colleagues made it toothless."
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NEWS
By Brian S. Brown | November 7, 2011
In the 1960s, Baltimore's leaders, driven by both desperate need and newfound vision, enacted a first-of-its-kind housing code for the City of Baltimore. Its provisions ensured that Baltimore's residents, including even the poorest, would be able to obtain, at a bare minimum, housing that was "fit for human habitation. " Of course, the slumlords reacted in the knee-jerk manner one would expect. (To be clear, most landlords are not slumlords. Instead, they follow the law and do their best to provide safe housing.)
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NEWS
By Alan J. Craver and Alan J. Craver,Staff writer | December 15, 1991
Former Aberdeen Commissioner Raymond H. Warfield's trial on nine housing code violations has been delayed -- for the fourth time.The trial, scheduled to start Friday in Circuit Court, was postponed at the request of Warfield's defense attorney, William Abercrombie Jr. ofEdgewood. A new trial date has not been set yet.Two of the county's four circuit judges, Maurice W. Baldwin and Stephen M. Waldron, have removed themselves from the case because of conflicts of interest.Baldwin and Waldron worked with Warfield when they served as Aberdeen town attorneys before joining the Harford bench.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2010
A complaint filed by the city alleging that Wells Fargo Bank is liable for lost property tax revenue because some houses that went into default were in poor condition was denied by a U.S. District Court judge Tuesday. Judge J. Frederick Motz dismissed the city's complaint, the second against the bank, alleging that vacant houses fell into disrepair as a result of Wells Fargo's steering residents toward more expensive subprime loans, causing them to default. However, he permitted the city to file a third amended complaint by the end of next month.
NEWS
By Patrick Gilbert and Patrick Gilbert,Staff Writer | October 25, 1993
The rundown house in the 600 block of Hillen Road may be the most visible eyesore in Baltimore County.The yard is overgrown with ivy and weeds. Paint peels from the sides of the house. A back window is boarded up. Two cars, ivy wrapping around the spokes of their wire-wheel hubcaps, sit idle in what once was the driveway.The house, in Fellowship Forest, a neighborhood of $300,000 homes and well-tended lawns, has irritated homeowners and frustrated community leaders for 10 years.They say their battles over the property show why the county needs a minimum-standard housing code that would apply to private homes.
NEWS
June 14, 2000
A FAMILY LIVING through the cold and heat without electricity is headed for disaster. And it struck over the weekend, when three children and their grandmother died in a Baltimore fire that started from a candle. Could this have been prevented? Perhaps. But the harsh reality is that no amount of fire prevention activity -- and the city fire department's safety campaigns have been quite successful -- reaches all whose daily battle is about mere existence. Firmer housing code enforcement may be one way to prevent future tragedies.
NEWS
By Walter F. Roche Jr. and Walter F. Roche Jr.,SUN STAFF | July 23, 1997
Noting alleged housing code violations and threats to the health and safety of residents, the state has obtained an emergency order taking control of three apartment buildings owned by the financially troubled Baltimore Corporation for Housing Partnerships.Court records show the partnership properties were placed in receivership late last month as a result of a petition filed on behalf of the state Department of Housing and Community Development.Lawyers for the state charged that the partnership had been "derelict" in its duties and failed to correct "serious housing code violations."
NEWS
August 16, 2004
THE PRESENCE of young children in a house with peeling lead paint can prove to be a deadly combination. In 1931, when Baltimore recorded its first cases of lead paint poisoning deaths in children, the suspect source was window sills and door jams, surfaces easily chewed or nibbled by a teething toddler. Today, lead dust is the more insidious problem in thousands of older homes that haven't been purged of lead paint. The dangers of deteriorating paint persist and a landlord's responsibility to maintain a safe environment is no less urgent.
NEWS
By Michael A. Fletcher and Michael A. Fletcher,Sun Staff Writer | March 8, 1994
City Council President Mary Pat Clarke is proposing that the duties of Baltimore's parking control agents be expanded beyond writing parking tickets to include fighting crime and issuing citations for sanitation and housing code violations."
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer | March 25, 1995
A committee directed by County Council Chairman Vincent J. Gardina has decided that Baltimore County should have a housing code for the exterior of owner-occupied homes.The committee's recommendations will be forwarded to County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger III. Mr. Ruppersberger is on vacation and unavailable for comment.The 13-member committee agreed at a meeting Wednesday in Towson that enforcement should be done carefully with wide discretion for inspectors and relatively low daily fines for noncompliance.
NEWS
By Larry Carson | larry.carson@baltsun.com | January 29, 2010
With a final Howard County Council vote scheduled Monday on rezoning downtown Columbia for three decades of urban-style redevelopment, advocates for housing affordable to low-wage workers feel their hopes for a last-minute compromise are in peril. The council met again Friday to discuss various last-minute options for providing at least some housing for lower income people. The council briefly discussed their ideas at a nearly five-hour work session Monday night, but members appear ready to adopt a requirement that builders provide at least 15 percent of new units for households with incomes under about $80,000 -- too high, the advocates said, to meet the real need.
NEWS
By Laura Vozzella and Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF | October 26, 2004
The 8th, 9th and 11th City Council districts stretch from the western city-county line to the Inner Harbor, taking in the bright waterfront tourist attractions promoted on city tourism brochures as well as gritty, crime-ridden areas more likely to turn up on television's The Wire. That diversity is evident in the 8th District, where Councilwoman Helen L. Holton, a Democrat, faces Jacquiline Johnson, who is running as an independent. In one corner of the 8th sits Dickeyville, a 19th-century mill town with white picket fences and houses that look as if they were plucked from Colonial New England.
NEWS
By Laura Vozzella and Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF | September 3, 2004
Take Sam Spade, Starsky and Hutch, Charlie's Angels. But hold the fedora and trench coat, the crazy car chases, the high-heeled sprints after bad guys. What you've got left, city officials hope, is the answer to Baltimore's housing woes. In an unusual move, Baltimore's housing department has hired a handful of private investigators to track down owners of problem properties so they can be cited for code violations, taken to court, forced to fix up their houses or, in some cases, stripped of them.
NEWS
August 16, 2004
THE PRESENCE of young children in a house with peeling lead paint can prove to be a deadly combination. In 1931, when Baltimore recorded its first cases of lead paint poisoning deaths in children, the suspect source was window sills and door jams, surfaces easily chewed or nibbled by a teething toddler. Today, lead dust is the more insidious problem in thousands of older homes that haven't been purged of lead paint. The dangers of deteriorating paint persist and a landlord's responsibility to maintain a safe environment is no less urgent.
NEWS
December 15, 2000
THERE'S no reason why owners of houses, whether they live there or rent to others, shouldn't have to maintain them. Property that is not kept up is more than an eyesore. It's a public nuisance, a cancer in the community, a drag on property values and the well-being of other residents. That's why Westminster's attempt to enact a "livability" code for all housing should be encouraged. Which is not to say the current proposal, 42 pages long, couldn't stand some fixing up. City Hall got a lot of constructive comment at a hearing this week: Concerns about square-foot minimums, number of windows, unique designs of historic buildings and traditional neighborhood conventions.
NEWS
June 14, 2000
A FAMILY LIVING through the cold and heat without electricity is headed for disaster. And it struck over the weekend, when three children and their grandmother died in a Baltimore fire that started from a candle. Could this have been prevented? Perhaps. But the harsh reality is that no amount of fire prevention activity -- and the city fire department's safety campaigns have been quite successful -- reaches all whose daily battle is about mere existence. Firmer housing code enforcement may be one way to prevent future tragedies.
NEWS
February 21, 1996
THE REAPPOINTMENT of Housing Commissioner Daniel P. Henson III should not be confirmed until the mayor investigates incidents in which certain housing officials have ignored the very laws the public entrusts them to uphold.Conflicts of interest are bound to arise when city policy allows these officials to own slum dwellings that their own department is supposed to inspect. But when they also ignore or quash citations to repair these properties, this is an abuse of power that demands an outside investigation by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF | December 31, 1996
Jack Bowen says people sometimes drive through his Middle River neighborhood just to see the ramshackle house that stands out like a sore thumb."It's known all over the area," says Bowen, a 50-year resident of Aero Acres. "It's pretty bad." The interior is crowded floor-to-ceiling with items the owner has collected from the streets, he says.But starting tomorrow, Baltimore County officials will have a new tool to use against homes that are neighborhood eyesores but are owner-occupied and exempt from the housing code.
NEWS
June 3, 2000
THE hospitalization of 11 South Baltimore residents for possible chemical exposure may or may not have anything to do with a warehouse where toxins have been stored illegally. But the scare underlines a bigger problem -- the city's habitual failure to go after chronic code violators. The public health threat surrounding a derelict Clarkson Street warehouse might never have happened had city government made sure that a 1994 code violation was corrected. But nothing apparently happened. Not only was poison stored on the unsecured premises -- where curious neighborhood children could come in contact with it -- but exposed asbestos was around as well.
NEWS
By Gerard Shields and Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF | April 28, 2000
Residents pleaded last night with Mayor Martin O'Malley and housing officials to crack down on slum landlords and predatory lenders who have left them paying for dilapidated homes that fail to meet the housing code. O'Malley and Housing Commissioner Patricia J. Payne met at Barclay Recreation Center with about 100 members of the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a civic group that represents low- and moderate-income families. ACORN is asking the city to adopt new laws to make available the list of properties registered by landlords and prevent lenders from preying on the unsuspecting poor by renting or selling woeful properties at market rates.
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