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'If that collapsed, what else might come tumbling down?' Baltimore man fights for ceiling repairs

'If that collapsed, what else might come tumbling down?' Baltimore man fights for ceiling repairs
Posted at 5:32 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 19:12:40-04

BALTIMORE — A Southwest Baltimore man he's been struggling with a collapsed ceiling in his bedroom since February.

John Sales says he's tired of having to look at mold, water damage and the hole left in his bedroom ceiling at his home in the 2000 block of Wilhelm Street.

John says the leak started small and eventually caused a portion of the ceiling to collapse. He now sleeps on the floor. He says people come out, but no repairs are made.

"As soon as it dropped, I dropped and called," says John. "They come, look at the roof, they said they coming back and then they don’t come back, then come back when they want to come back."

It's now August and John is still dealing with a hole in the ceiling and sleeping on the floor.

WMAR-2 News reached out to both Baltimore's Housing Authority and Department of Housing and Community Development.

In an email we were told the landlord, who is not John, was cited and fined for not listing the home as a rental property. As for the ceiling, the city says it's the landlord's responsibility.

But the landlord is MIA.

"Someone's receiving the rent money," says John who receives government assistance. He's been living at his home since 2016.

"I'm not surprised by this issue," says Baltimore homeless advocate Christina Flowers. "Every agency that operates and handles government funds right now for a vulnerable population needs to be accountable."

As of 5:00 pm Tuesday the Housing Authority says it continues to investigate the matter.

"If that collapsed, what else might come tumbling down, nobody wants to live like that," says John. "You see that hole in that goddamn ceiling."

WMAR will continue working to get John the answers he deserves and see if we can get the ceiling fixed.

In a late statement to WMAR, a spokesperson with the Housing Authority of Baltimore City said:

“HABC has been in communication with the property owner - ABC Management, Baltimore - about the unacceptable conditions of 2011 Wilhelm Street. The property failed inspection on August 13th and then failed reinspection on August 17, when we were unable to gain access to the home. We have stopped funding to the owner of the property, pending their making the repairs and bringing conditions up to standard. We have scheduled a reinspection for September 17th to allow time for the repairs to be made. Housing Choice Voucher properties are owned and managed by private landlords, but HABC conducts regular inspections to ensure housing quality stands are met.”