Uncertainty over demolition of building in West Baltimore

Landlord and tenant searching for answers
Posted at 11:24 PM, Feb 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-22 23:25:38-05

Alonzo Jackson is scared the place he’s lived in for seven years could be demolished at any time.

He lives at 503 North Monroe Street near Harlem Park in West Baltimore.

On February 18th Jackson said he walked outside and saw a demolition notice on the building next door set for February 20th.

If that didn’t scare him enough, a large demolition vehicle is now parked at the end of his street.

"Nobody knocked on the door nobody called my landlord nobody called the owner of the property he does still own the property,” said Jackson. “Nobody did anything nobody let us know about this demolition that was going to happen at 501."

Jackson said a tree growing into 505 N. Monroe is the root of the problem that he and the landlord at 501 have been reporting to 311 for over five years.

"We've been reporting the tree growing out of their property this entire time,” said Jackson “You got to think this is more than 5 years. If this would have been taken care of by the city when we first made a complaint more than 5 years ago this would not be a situation now. We wouldn't have a situation where their trying to demolish the house and make us move and basically restart our lives."

Jackson said he got nervous, there was a wrecking crew outside.

He showed ABC2 a note he said is from Frankie Carter an Ombudsman with Baltimore County Housing Authority dated February 20th.

The note, written on the back of one of Carter’s business cards, said “Due to the expected demolition of 503 Monroe St. Tenant must vacate premises due to dwelling not habitable.  Any questions please call.”
Jackson said
a Baltimore Housing Inspector told him that the buildings could be blown down by a strong wing, so they all need to come down.

He says engineers told him otherwise saying there's a way for his house to still stand.

"They haven't even come to a decision as to whether they really want to demolish all 3 houses 501,503, and 505. Or if they just want to demolish 501 and try to build a structural wall to keep us up. They said they weren't going to help with relocation or anything of that nature and that really scares me."

ABC2 took Jacksons concerns to the city.

In an email response from Tania Baker, Director of Communications for both the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, she said there is not an emergency demolition scheduled for the buildings, but they are assessing the condition.

Any property that is deemed an imminent danger is summarily addressed.

And that they are in contact with the landlord, and if they can't help with relocation they will assist tenants.

The landlord said he was told the cleanup bill would be on him if the building is demolished.