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'It’s slumlords that don’t want to do nothing': Tenants forced to vacate Charles Village building

'It’s slumlords that don’t want to do nothing': Tenants forced to vacate Charles Village building
Posted at 9:41 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-05 23:16:14-04

BALTIMORE — On Friday, thirty people found themselves being forced out of their homes.

As WMAR-2 News has reported a cease-and-desist order was issued for WAZ Management at it's property at 2126 Maryland Avenue. By 10 a.m. Friday people had to be out.

"I’m trying to keep my words clean, said Carolyn Tenai. "Right now I’m very mad, very mad because this is ridiculous. Disabled people only had two days to get their stuff out of there."

On November 3, the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development posted an order to vacate on the front of the building.

As we've reported, the commercially slated building had various violations. Some of those violations included lack of water, electricity, a rat infestation and more.

"The emergency is the multiple code infractions," said Duane Saunders, Assistant Commissioner for DHCD. "There was the cease-and-desist order because the building was not suited for human habitation, and it was zoned commercial versus residentials.

Earlier in the week WMAR's camera went inside the building showing you the deplorable conditions. A bathroom was back up with fecal matter. Tenants had said there was a sewer pipe break that the property owners never addressed.

On the sidewalk Friday around 11 a.m. people were helping each other move what they could out of their rooms before DPW crews boarded up the front entrance. 

"It’s pretty sad. I mean it’s depressing," said Travis Parsons. "A lot of people don’t have places to go. They’re just trying to figure out what’s going on. I mean, we’re trying to stay positive. Luckily, it’s warm outside. Hoping it doesn’t get too cold tonight."

DHCD told WMAR it was only able to find housing for 12 of the 30 or so people living inside.

"We don't have an exact count," said Commissioner Saunders. "There's a lot of people that are transient. They're coming and going. What we’ve been able to do is leverage some of the relationship we have with our management companies and landlords in the area. They’ve all gone through the application process, and we’ve been able to successfully secure permanent housing for them."

Still, some are upset about the lack of effort but in by DHCD.

Earlier in the week tenants told WMAR DHCD was aware of the situation a month ago and people came down to collect their information.

"We waited for them to come back then," said Parsons. "They didn't come back until this week."

WMARwas on scene during that visit. A worker took people's names on their phone.

While people were packing up Friday, one woman asked, "Where are the social workers? Where are the therapists for these people? This is a traumatic time for them. The city is just moving them around."

"Surviving," was all Carolyn Tenai could say when reporter Dave Detling asked how she was doing. She proceeding to hug her therapy dog Winter.

For those who did receive housing, they're looking forward to a new beginning.

"I just want to get back on my feet," said Conrad Patterson. "Continue to work, make good money, stay to myself, mind my own business, stay with my sweetheart and just progress and prosper."

No one with WAZ Management or R.I.B. Management was on scene. Baltimore City is taking the real estate investors to court in December.