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Baltimore Council President Mosby apologizes for supporters' unruliness at heated hearing on dollar houses

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Posted at 6:06 PM, Apr 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-27 18:14:03-04

BALTIMORE — If a national affordable housing non-profit thought it was going to sway members of the Baltimore City Council to back a proposed measure offering dollar homes, it probably shouldn’t have insulted them.

“I don’t understand why you’re doing the bidding for the real estate community out there and for the investors,” Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America CEO Bruce Marks told Councilwoman Odette Ramos.

“You can’t accuse me of that,” she fired back, later retorting, “You’re not from here, sir. You don’t even know.”

A pair of Ramos’ fellow members of the body got up and left at that point in the hearing, and later, people who appear to have been recruited by NACA became unruly and banged on the door to the mayor’s office.

“The people that were in the chamber? Most of them were not from Baltimore,” Ramos told WMAR 2 News, “They were bussed in, because as participants in NACA, they had to volunteer for events.”

A bid to offer $1 houses in Baltimore

MORE: ‘This is a once in a lifetime opportunity': City Council President Mosby initiates another hearing for Baltimore vacant home bills

We interviewed NACA’s founder and CEO hours before the hearing where he made it quite clear where he laid the blame for the stalled proposal.

“Mayor Scott, get on board,” Marks told us, “He’s against this. He’s against affordable homeownership for working Baltimore residents.”

MORE: Doubling down on dollar homes in Baltimore

Ramos said there’s no guarantee City Council President Nick Mosby’s bill for dollar homes will ever come up for a vote again, but it has no chance if NACA is involved.

“This whole thing is horrible that happened to us, and we deserve a public apology from the council president,” said Ramos.

At a Board of Estimates meeting on Wednesday, Mosby did just that.

“To the men and women who work in this building, to the police officers who were helping to secure the building, I sincerely apologize and, again, it’s completely unacceptable.”