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By Jamie Smith Hopkins | jamie.smith.hopkins@baltsun.com | December 30, 2009
Marjorie Benedum and her husband, Mel Harris, knew their landlord was facing foreclosure but were reassured when he said they could keep renting the Southwest Baltimore house after his family lost it. Then Harris, who is 79 and retired, came home from church three weeks ago to find a sheriff's notice on the door. Get out in 10 days, it said, or be evicted. "We weren't sure what we were going to do," recalled Benedum, 62. More and more renters have been caught up in the national foreclosure crisis, and lenders taking back those homes nearly always want them gone.
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By Timothy B. Wheeler and The Baltimore Sun | September 22, 2014
A Baltimore jury has awarded nearly $2.1 million to a 17-year-old city youth who was allegedly poisoned by lead paint in the 1990s when he was a toddler in an East Baltimore rental home. The judgment against Elliot Dackman and the estates of Sandra and Bernard Dackman came Friday in Baltimore Circuit Court, at the end of the weeklong trial of a lawsuit brought on behalf of Daquantay Robinson by his mother, Tiesha Robinson. The jury verdict shows the long-running tide of litigation over the widespread use of lead-based paint in Baltimore's older rental housing has yet to ebb, according to Bruce Powell, the Robinsons' lawyer.
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NEWS
By MARK MILLER | June 15, 1995
A neighbor called us, one of the few ''good'' neighbors left on this crumbling block in this crumbling southwest Baltimore neighborhood of abandoned houses and crack dealers scattered about like so many cockroaches. Squatters had moved into one of our vacant houses and were using it as a base for their drug operation.The house is among several we own and manage in Baltimore's Pratt-Monroe area. Once a respectable lower-middle-class, blue-collar community sustained economically by low-skilled but decent-paying factory jobs, Pratt-Monroe has become another inner-city relic of the post-industrial age, another blemish on an urban landscape plagued with teen pregnancy, drug use, drug dealing and deteriorating housing.
NEWS
By Justin George, The Baltimore Sun | August 15, 2014
Charles Gorham heard loud music at 5 a.m. Friday from the tan stucco garage apartment he rented behind his Northwest Baltimore home. His tenant, Duane Mitchell, was known for partying, and Gorham figured to leave well enough alone. He left for work, but when he returned at 9 a.m., the music was still blasting. The 73-year-old landlord walked over and, in the doorway, saw Mitchell's thin body splayed out, face buried in dingy beige carpet, dried blood covering the back of his bald head.
NEWS
June 3, 2013
Recent letters to the editor have focused on the reality that people deserving of Section 8 assistance need more landlords to open up their homes and apartments to Section 8 so that the housing poor will more quickly and easily obtain the housing that they need. Yes, deserving people need more quality housing to be available. Landlords have the housing. Responsible landlords appreciate stable sources of income. Section 8 has housing money. Just why shouldn't we encourage Section 8 personnel to be neutral, helpful and just honestly follow the regulations and always work fairly with honest landlords?
NEWS
July 10, 2013
Apartment renters should be aware that rental properties in Howard County will be assessed for the stormwater management tax as commercial properties, which will be based on the measurement of impervious surfaces. Since it may be assumed that landlords will pass these fees on to tenants as rent increases, in may cases apartment dwellers may be paying more than the flat fee of $15 per year to be paid by condominium owners. Apartment renters are already at a disadvantage because they cannot deduct real estate taxes paid by owners from income taxes, so this is a further affront to renters.
NEWS
May 12, 2013
In a recent letter to the editor, Johns Hopkins professor Stefanie DeLuca recently suggested that many landlords refuse to rent to people with Section 8 housing vouchers because they are unfairly prejudiced against those prospective tenants ("Mossburg misrepresents research on vouchers," May 8). My guess is that Ms. DeLuca has never dealt with Section 8 as a landlord. The prejudice of landlords is directed not against the people but against the nightmare bureaucracy that Section 8 rentals entail.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | December 9, 2011
Bonnie Celmer had been on the waiting list for Section 8 housing since July when she finally got a voucher three weeks ago. She's still living in a Baltimore County homeless shelter, unable to find an apartment. "I've been looking for a place, but I can't get anybody to accept the voucher," the 59-year-old said. Celmer spoke to a crowd of more than 100 gathered Wednesday evening at Towson United Methodist Church to support a proposal that would prohibit landlords from discriminating against potential tenants based on their sources of income.
NEWS
By Robert J. Strupp | May 5, 2013
As we recently celebrated the 45th anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act, it is significant to note that the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. metropolitan regions are among the most segregated in America. Last month, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law recently reported on a study showing that Maryland's public school system is among the most segregated in the nation. The report, conducted by the Civil Rights Project at UCLA, revealed that more than half of the state's black students attended schools with minority enrollments between 90 percent and 100 percent during the 2010-2011 school year, up from 33 percent in 1989.
NEWS
By Mary Gail Hare and Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer | May 4, 1995
Tenants in many New Windsor rental units are tolerating the intolerable to keep the only homes they can afford. Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. says he has heard complaints, ranging from rat infestation to missing windows, from tenants and their neighbors.With the council's approval, Mr. Gullo has appointed resident Tony Ferace as a volunteer to help enforce the county's Minimum Livability Code, which New Windsor adopted several years ago."New Windsor needs to crack down on landlords," Mr. Gullo said.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | April 15, 2014
Residents at a notorious subsidized housing complex in West Baltimore sued their landlord and two private security firms Tuesday, alleging that they were forced to live in filthy conditions and suffered reprisals from guards when they spoke out about problems. The case was filed in Baltimore Circuit Court on behalf of 32 adults and their children who live at the Madison Park North Apartments, which city officials have said is called "Murder Mall" by its residents. The city has tried to oust the company that runs the apartments, and tenants say they cannot move to escape the conditions because of how their housing vouchers work.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | February 17, 2014
Most of the upgrades at the two-building BECO Towers complex in Owings Mills are pretty standard: new windows, functioning elevators, an updated heating and cooling system. Then there are the fish tanks. The roughly 1,000-gallon aquariums, which BECO Management installed last month in the lobbies of both Mill Run Circle buildings, cost about $100,000 each. They required the commercial real estate firm to reinforce the floor and replace its cleaning supplies with fish-friendly materials.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | January 27, 2014
Gmart International Foods, a five-store supermarket chain with two Maryland locations, will open in the next 60 days in the former Santoni's Super Market site in Highlandtown, the shopping center's landlord said Monday. Gmart signed a long-term lease on the 27,000-square-foot space last week, said Michael Jacoby, CEO of Bethesda-based Broad Street Realty, which leased the space. The center also has a Rite Aid and a Dollar Tree, and a Subway will open soon. "We think they are a good tenant for that community," Jacoby said.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella | January 14, 2014
A sign outside the now vacant Santoni's Super Market in Highlandtown says Gmart International Foods, a six-store chain with two Maryland locations, is coming soon. But the shopping center's landlord said late Monday that no lease has yet been signed, and the company is negotiating with four or five grocers that are interested in moving in. "We've had a lot of interest and narrowed the list to four or five," including national and regional chains and smaller operators, said Michael Jacoby, CEO of Bethesda-based Broad Street Realty, which is leasing the space.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | December 28, 2013
A Baltimore woman who has gained national attention for a project intended to publicly shame those who own vacant houses in the city now faces two lawsuits from one of those owners. Brian Spern, an attorney representing the two business trusts that own 539 N. Longwood St. in West Baltimore and 4727 Old York Road in North Baltimore, filed the property damage tort claims earlier this month. The sole defendant is Carol S. Ott, who has run the Baltimore Slumlord Watch blog since 2009 and partnered earlier this year with a group of street artists who paint murals on the vacant homes.
NEWS
By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun | November 28, 2013
Tisha Guthrie applied for a housing voucher in 2004 when she became legally blind. After waiting five years for approval, she says, she still struggled for a long time to find quality housing. She had lived in one Mount Vernon apartment for a year before she began a seven-month search for a place in Baltimore County, where she thought she'd find more adequate housing in a quieter setting. "I'd stop by leasing offices and it'd be going well, but when I told them I have vouchers, they'd turn me away," she said.
NEWS
By Jim Haner and Jim Haner,SUN STAFF | January 20, 2000
In the heart of the east-side "hot zone" lies the 1200 block of N. Montford. Nine children who called it home have been poisoned by lead -- including Jevonte Sanders, 4. He breathed the invisible lead dust generated by the opening and closing of old windows in his mother's rented rowhouse. He crawled in it. The stuff stuck to his clothes and bedding. In 1996, he was diagnosed. "When the doctors first told me he had the lead, they said he could be brain damaged," recalls his mother, Delba Jones, 34. "Somebody tells you your baby could be handicapped for life, it's real scary."
NEWS
April 4, 2011
I read in Sunday's paper that city officials in the Housing Authority outright refuse to pay financial damages to plaintiffs who have won financial awards against due to damages their children endured while residing in public housing ( "Baltimore housing authority says it won't pay millions in lead poisoning judgments," April 3). It was noted chipped paint containing lead was all over the window sills in the public housing units. How is it acceptable that the city will not pay financial damages when they hold city landlords to a totally different standard?
NEWS
By Justin George, Ian Duncan and Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | August 10, 2013
The two-story abstract mural - featuring a pharaoh's headpiece, a cotton field and fire spewing out of rowhouse windows - showed up suddenly this summer on a vacant house in North Baltimore. The artwork at 4727 Old York Road came with a political twist: A sign next to it prominently listed the name of a trust that owns the house and those of government officials who represent the area. The mural and sign are the work of a local group of artists who call themselves "Wall Hunters" and a housing activist seeking to publicly shame absentee landlords and elected officials into addressing the issue of vacant homes.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | July 31, 2013
The relatives of five people who were killed in a Baltimore house fire last year sued a landlord and the city housing authority in Circuit Court on Wednesday, claiming that failure to fix a faulty furnace or install smoke detectors led to the fatal blaze. Nancy Worrell, 55, was killed along with four young children in the October fire at 5601 Denwood Ave. The Housing Authority of Baltimore City was paying a portion of the rent on the home through the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, and the lawsuit contends that housing authority inspectors should have forced landlord Paul Stanton to fix a malfunctioning furnace in the home and install smoke detectors.
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