Press Release: Baltimore Tenants Expose Slumlord Urban Atlantic

For Immediate Release: May 14, 2019

Press Contacts: Mario Murcia, 717-875-9037, PSL; Yasmina Mrabet, 202-441-5172, LinkUp

Baltimore Tenants Launch Organizing Campaign to Protect Affordable Housing and Expose Slumlord Urban Atlantic

Tenants at 1100 Bolton St. in West Baltimore have launched an organizing campaign this week, as they face horrific living conditions in the Urban Atlantic-owned 260 unit Bolton House building. Vicki Davis, Managing Director of Urban Atlantic, along with the company’s management arm, Edgewood Management, have ignored complaints for years, allowing the building to become dilapidated and collecting rents while tenants live with rampant rodent infestations, raw sewage overflow, black mold and asbestos, trash pile ups, faulty heat and cooling systems, open walls and ceilings, and more. The 14-floor building has two elevators that are chronically out of service, causing a major safety hazard for seniors and tenants with disabilities who live above the first floor. Tenants have documented medical conditions associated with exposure to toxic mold, including fungal infections, daily nosebleeds, respiratory illnesses, among other conditions.

Bolton House tenants are working in conjunction with community organization LinkUp and political organization the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL)  for support, and have formed a Tenant Coalition to fight for five major demands, including an immediate end to slum living conditions; the right to organize without fear of intimidation or retaliation; the firing of Edgewood Management; the preservation of safe and habitable affordable housing, including in the event of area redevelopments; and the reestablishment of basic security measures and common spaces in the building.

Tenants are aware that Urban Atlantic stands to benefit to the tune of tens of millions of dollars from future redevelopment in the area, once plans for the State Center become a reality. In the meantime, despite Urban Atlantic’s vast wealth and business holdings, the multi-billion dollar company is an active player in a subprime slum market, collecting rents from residents who have nowhere else to go amidst a nation-wide affordable housing crisis.

The Bolton House Tenant Coalition and supporting organizations will alert the press and the public of upcoming actions to oppose the flagrant operation of slums-for-profit in Baltimore city, and to hold developers and their political backers accountable for denying tenants their basic right to live in decent, safe, affordable housing.

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Yasmina Mrabet