Justice for Neighbors in Southwest Baltimore

In the course of speaking to community groups, the issue of nuisance properties comes up a lot. Sometimes the complaints are fairly minor — trash, noise, etc., and sometimes the complaints turn into a story of a community being terrorized by the residents of one property, one with an owner or landlord who does nothing Read more about Justice for Neighbors in Southwest Baltimore[…]

Bandit Signs: The New Blockbusting

“I wish they wouldn’t post those here, they make our neighborhood look trashy.” I hear this a lot about bandit signs — those “WE BUY HOUSES” signs that pop up like toadstools after a storm. And yes, they do make a neighborhood look trashy. But even worse — they’re the new tool for blockbusting. For Read more about Bandit Signs: The New Blockbusting[…]

HB0508/SB0330: Residential Property – Foreclosure Sale – Recordation of Instrument of Writing: SUPPORT

Maryland House Bill 0508 is a bill that’s been sorely needed for far too long. This bill (and Senate Bill 0330) would go a long way towards cleaning up our property records by requiring a deed to be filed no later than 30 days after a foreclosure sale is ratified by the court — this Read more about HB0508/SB0330: Residential Property – Foreclosure Sale – Recordation of Instrument of Writing: SUPPORT[…]

Maryland HB0796 and SB0801: Support

Baltimore City has seen record numbers of evictions over the past two years, particularly of poor tenants who are unable to afford or obtain legal representation in court. This bill would level the playing field for tenants, who are often ignored by District Court judges in Baltimore City. Our rent court is simply a revolving Read more about Maryland HB0796 and SB0801: Support[…]

Because Sadly, Sometimes Even Women Get This Wrong.

The women’s organization UltraViolet has been mentioned on social media lately, for their anti-Paul Graziano ads and petition to have the Baltimore HABC Commissioner fired. While I commend them for their effort, I was dismayed last night to read this: “Women were forced to trade sex for critical home repairs” Since this story broke, many Read more about Because Sadly, Sometimes Even Women Get This Wrong.[…]

Send a Strong Message to the Mayor and City Council Today: Paul Graziano Must Go

Paul Graziano, head of Baltimore City’s Housing Authority has been the subject of scandals over the years, whether personally, or through the agency he runs: Drunken incidents in bars, involving homophobic slurs Refusal to pay lead paint settlements to families whose children were poisoned in HABC-owned homes Discrimination against people with disabilities (link opens a Read more about Send a Strong Message to the Mayor and City Council Today: Paul Graziano Must Go[…]

Mortgage Fraud Scammer Pleads Guilty in Federal Court

Alberic Okou Agodio of Bethesda pleaded guilty on July 21 in Federal Court to several charges arising out of a $3.8 million mortgage fraud scheme involving dozens of Baltimore City homes. Almost all of the homes were located in poor neighborhoods that already struggle with blight and decay. He will be sentenced in October, and Read more about Mortgage Fraud Scammer Pleads Guilty in Federal Court[…]

“My Landlord Won’t Make Repairs, Now What?”

I get a lot of emails from tenants who are living in unimaginable circumstances. No heat or hot water in the winter, basements and walls covered in black mold, flooded basements, even a collapsed ceiling or two. Their circumstances vary, but the question at the end of the email is generally the same:  “What can Read more about “My Landlord Won’t Make Repairs, Now What?”[…]

Mapping Fraudulent Home Purchases

Last month, a federal grand jury indicted Alberic Okou Agodio of Bethesda, MD on multiple charges of wire fraud and identity theft, arising from a $3.9 million mortgage scheme where he and his co-conspirators purchased homes in Baltimore City using false information on mortgage applications, in exchange for kickbacks on each sale. The indictment was Read more about Mapping Fraudulent Home Purchases[…]

Maryland Court Orders Houston Slumlord to Clean Up Baltimore Blight

Reported in the Baltimore Sun by Natalie Sherman: A Baltimore City Circuit Court judge has ordered an absentee Baltimore landlord to clean up about 50 blighted properties within 90 days, the first ruling since a state law was amended two years ago to make it easier for community groups to sue the owners of problem Read more about Maryland Court Orders Houston Slumlord to Clean Up Baltimore Blight[…]

MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 14 Baltimore City Property Owners for Lead Paint Violations

MDE’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program serves as the coordinating agency for statewide efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. Under the 1994 “Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act,” MDE assures compliance with mandatory requirements for lead risk reduction in rental units built before 1950, maintains a statewide listing of registered and inspected units and provides Read more about MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 14 Baltimore City Property Owners for Lead Paint Violations[…]

MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 37 Baltimore City Property Owners for Lead Paint Violations

From the press release from the Maryland Department of the Environment: MDE’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program serves as the coordinating agency for statewide efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. Under the 1994 “Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act,” MDE assures compliance with mandatory requirements for lead risk reduction in rental units built before 1950, Read more about MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 37 Baltimore City Property Owners for Lead Paint Violations[…]

MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against City Lead Paint Violators

In December 2013, the Maryland Department of the Environment issued enforcement actions against the following Baltimore City property owners for lead paint violations: Damian D. Tucker and Pia Tucker – 4 affected properties – $43,300 for alleged violations. DACA Properties, LLC – 1 affected property – $32,500 for alleged violations. Daniel Lopez, Jr. (Trustee) – Read more about MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against City Lead Paint Violators[…]

Residents: Your Input Is Needed!

How would you like to live next to this eyesore?  No?  I would bet that most people wouldn’t want to, either. Residents, when Baltimore Housing files for receivership of a home (meaning, a receiver appointed by the City will own the home after it’s taken away from its negligent owner) — if you’re impacted by Read more about Residents: Your Input Is Needed![…]

MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 36 City Property Owners for Lead Paint Violations

From the Maryland Department of the Environment: MDE’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program serves as the coordinating agency for statewide efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. Under the 1994 “Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act,” MDE assures compliance with mandatory requirements for lead risk reduction in rental units built before 1950, maintains a statewide listing Read more about MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 36 City Property Owners for Lead Paint Violations[…]

MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 10 Baltimore City Property Owners for Lead Violations

From the Maryland Department of the Environment: MDE’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program serves as the coordinating agency for statewide efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. Under the 1994 “Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act,” MDE assures compliance with mandatory requirements for lead risk reduction in rental units built before 1950, maintains a statewide listing Read more about MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 10 Baltimore City Property Owners for Lead Violations[…]

MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 16 City Property Owners for Lead Paint Violations

From the Maryland Department of the Environment: MDE’s Lead Poisoning Prevention Program serves as the coordinating agency for statewide efforts to eliminate childhood lead poisoning. Under the 1994 “Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act,” MDE assures compliance with mandatory requirements for lead risk reduction in rental units built before 1950, maintains a statewide listing Read more about MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 16 City Property Owners for Lead Paint Violations[…]

Slumlord-Owned Property Raided By Police As City Demolishes Another

Police raided a home at 2615 Miles Avenue yesterday, owned by Syed Shah, who also owns the Pizza Boli’s chain.  The raid was part of a joint effort by the Baltimore City Police Department and federal law enforcement. Mr. Shah owns several blighted properties in Remington, where the raid took place, and has earned a Read more about Slumlord-Owned Property Raided By Police As City Demolishes Another[…]