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76-year-old grandmother fears for her safety as two vacant city-owned properties crumble around her home

Posted at 10:33 PM, May 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 23:11:47-04

BALTIMORE — A 76-year-old grandmother, who lives between two vacant city owned properties in Northwest Baltimore, is concerned for her safety, saying she fears they could collapse at any moment.

Elizabeth Roary has lived in the 4200 block of Park Heights for more than 20 years. For the last decade, she says the two properties connected to her home have been vacant and she wants them torn down.

“When the wind blows, I pray all the time hoping god it don’t take my little house down along with all this other stuff,” she said.

Roary’s grandson, Tavon Davis, says the rundown properties are becoming dangerous.

“The roof is falling. The insides of the roof is falling in. The boards that’s holding the roof up is falling,” he said.

The roofs of both properties are crumbling to the point where water is leaking into Roary’s home. Davis says they’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars to try and fix it only for the water to creep right back in.

“I don’t really sleep that well,” Roary said. “I don’t really sleep that well because every little noise i hear i think something is falling.”

The two homes are also rat infested. There’s trash seen piling up on the porch of one of the properties and several others as well.

“It’s terrible,” Davis said.

Davis says he and his grandmother have called the city for help countless times, but he says all they’ve received were empty promises

“It’s been a long time. You [get] tired of hearing the same thing over and over again. We going get help. We going get this done. There’s nothing being done,” he said.

“The Housing Department has been in communication with the resident who lives between these vacant properties," said Stephanie Mavronis, a spokesperson with the Mayor's Office. "The City will be inspecting the properties, cleaning up the trash, and working to see what additional support can be provided.”

While their frustrations grows, Davis and his grandmother are holding out hope the city sends someone out soon to fix the problems before someone gets hurt.

“The city won’t come do what they need to do with their houses to make it safe for her to live in her house,” Davis said. “It’s ridiculous.”

“I want them to either tear them houses down or fix them or fix my house or give me some place to stay. That’s what I want,” Roary added.

She also said she can’t afford to move. But even if she could, she still wouldn’t want to because it’s where she raised her children, grandchildren and nieces and nephews.