Dear Mayor Pugh,

Congratulations on winning the election. You’re now Baltimore City’s mayor instead of my State Senator, so hopefully being here instead of Annapolis, you’ll be more committed to Baltimore’s neighborhoods. Here are a few suggestions, with regard to housing in Baltimore that you may want to consider: Break Baltimore Housing and the Housing Authority of Baltimore Read more about Dear Mayor Pugh,[…]

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[…]

Last Link Roundup of 2012!

A recap of all the newsworthy links in 2012. January Early in 2012, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was grilled by the MD Legislature about the status of the city’s lead paint judgements.  The city was refusing to pay, saying the judgement would bankrupt the city — a shame they didn’t think about that before allowing children Read more about Last Link Roundup of 2012![…]

Link Roundup

Did you know Maryland offers an income tax credit for low-income/elderly renters?  It follows the premise that renters pay property taxes as part of their rent, and therefore should be allowed an opportunity to recoup some of that money.  The deadline for filing each year is September 1. The past few years have seen an Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Housing Authority Assets to be Seized

WBAL and the Daily Record are both reporting that certain assets belonging to the Baltimore Housing Authority are to be seized by the sherrif’s department in order to pay for lead paint judgements the City has refused to pay. The assets include vehicles and computers, which will be auctioned off.  Evan Goldman, the attorney who Read more about Housing Authority Assets to be Seized[…]

Link Roundup

You’ve probably heard that Senator Charles Grassley (R, Iowa) has launched an investigation into the fraud and waste at Baltimore Housing — read a letter from Senator Grassley to Sean Donovan, HUD Secretary here.  Link opens a PDF. Property owners receiving the homestead tax credit — beware.  If you’re not actually living in the home, Read more about Link Roundup[…]

The Most Powerful Man in Baltimore Real Estate?

An interesting way to describe Paul Graziano, director of Baltimore’s Housing Authority. We received an email from the Baltimore Real Estate Investors Association, inviting us to a meeting where Paul Graziano will speak to the group (including slumlords and owners of blighted vacant homes) and address questions regarding Section 8 housing, vacant homes, and other Read more about The Most Powerful Man in Baltimore Real Estate?[…]

Link Roundup

Lead poisoning cases are down in Maryland, however — the number of cases linked to homes not covered by Maryland law is on the rise.  Sounds like it’s time to amend the law. Speaking of lead paint — the venerable Kennedy Krieger Institute is being sued in a class-action lawsuit filed by Baltimore attorney Billy Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Link Roundup

The Tenants in Foreclosure project of the Public Justice Center won an award!  Congrats to attorney Matt Hill and his staff for this much-deserved award.  If you or someone you know is living in a rental that is being foreclosed on, you should contact the Public Justice Center — you have rights, make sure they’re Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Link Roundup

Boston tenants fight to keep low-income housing, despite wishes of landlord. African-Americans are leaving declining cities for the South, in record numbers, according to the New York Times. Most Americans think you shouldn’t walk away from your mortgage.  What do you think? More on the City’s refusal to pay lead-paint judgments — Maryland Senators aren’t Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Update on HABC Lead Judgement Debacle

According to this morning’s Baltimore Sun, three Maryland lawmakers have written Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake a sharply-worded letter regarding the City’s refusal to pay court-ordered lead paint judgements. We hope these same lawmakers will also call for the resignation of the head of the troubled city agency, Paul Graziano. You can read the full article here.

Are Corruption and Incompetence the Norm at HABC?

Andy Green at the Baltimore Sun has a great editorial in today’s Second Opinion, detailing the firing of corrupt HABC housing inspector Algie Epps, and the circumstances that led up to his firing: When he was hired in 2005 as a housing inspector, the city does not appear to have conducted a “criminal history investigation” Read more about Are Corruption and Incompetence the Norm at HABC?[…]

Housing Authority Refuses to Pay Lead Paint Judgements

You may have already read the devastating news in today’s Baltimore Sun, but just in case you missed it… The city’s Housing Authority (the agency responsible for Baltimore’s subsidized housing stock) has decided it’s not in its best interest to pay any of the plaintiffs who have won hundreds of millions of dollars in lead Read more about Housing Authority Refuses to Pay Lead Paint Judgements[…]

Yesterday’s Midday With Dan Rodricks

If you didn’t get a chance to listen to Dan Rodricks’ show on WYPR yesterday, with Mayor Rawlings-Blake and Housing Director Paul Graziano, here are some highlights — you can also listen to a podcast here. The City claims there are 16,000 vacant properties in Baltimore — we’re not convinced, especially when you have code Read more about Yesterday’s Midday With Dan Rodricks[…]

NYT Article: Public Housing Repairs Can’t Keep Up With Demand

From today’s New York Times: Baltimore’s housing authority needs $860 million for crucial repairs, said the housing commissioner, Paul T. Graziano; it has demolished or shuttered 33 percent of its units since the 1990s and has another 600 “on the verge of failure,” with falling cabinets, unhinged doors and aging electrical systems. Almost a billion Read more about NYT Article: Public Housing Repairs Can’t Keep Up With Demand[…]

Speaking of Baltimore Housing…

Why is it that the City’s housing agency owns so many of our city’s blighted vacant homes? A sampling of just a few on one city block in East Baltimore: At least 1/3 of the blighted vacant housing in Baltimore is owned by the City (by most credible estimates).  How is the “leadership” at HABC Read more about Speaking of Baltimore Housing…[…]

It’s Only Bal-ti-more Wasteland…

My apologies to the Who. Made a quick trip on the “other side” of North Avenue to see what was back there, more importantly how many abandoned homes there were, and who owns them.  There are literally hundreds — I didn’t have time to document even a third of them, and I was very disappointed Read more about It’s Only Bal-ti-more Wasteland…[…]

Update: Mayor Rawlings-Blake Joins Housing to Announce Aggressive Enforcement Action Taken to Rid Community of Drug Nuisance

An update to our earlier post: “Today, Baltimore City is serving notice to all landlords that we will not tolerate criminal activity in our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “To eradicate crime and blight caused by irresponsible landlords, we will use any and all enforcement tools at our disposal to remove the threat posed to Read more about Update: Mayor Rawlings-Blake Joins Housing to Announce Aggressive Enforcement Action Taken to Rid Community of Drug Nuisance[…]