HOT TOPICS ▶ Climate Change     Undoing The New Deal     The Real Baltimore     Reality Asserts Itself     United Kingdom    

  September 27, 2017

Complaints of Sexual Harassment in Public Housing Go Ignored

A Real News Investigation has found additional allegations of sexual harassment in Baltimore's public housing system
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

I support this network as contributors are allowed the time to develop their arguments - CM
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


Taya Graham: This is Taya Graham reporting for The Real News Network in Baltimore City, Maryland. I'm standing in Perkins Homes, what might be the next battleground for low income people to be able to live in Baltimore's upscale housing.

But our investigation here has revealed other uncomfortable facts, which shed light on just how difficult life already is for the people who live here.

Speaker 2: The projects is bed bug infested, roach infested. I mean, I just think the government need to put some money in these projects.

Taya Graham: When housing officials first announced they had selected a luxury developer to rebuild Perkins Homes, a low-income housing project near Baltimore's gleaming inner harbor, there was anxiety among the residents.

Speaker 3: And I am worried because they had said several things and didn't keep their word.

Taya Graham: But as we explored the lives of the people who live here, other troubling facts emerged.

Speaker 4: But then I started experiencing, in the bathroom and the kitchen, these big, black spots, like in the corner of the bathtub, which was, they say, mold.

Taya Graham: We toured poorly maintained apartments, and heard stories of repairs unfinished. And even more disturbing, allegations of sexual harassment of residents.

Speaker 5: Either they're trying to get your phone number, they're trying to have sex with you, they want to charge you for all of these things. It makes you really not even want to call them.

Taya Graham: In fact, The Real News obtained this, a notarized statement from a resident who said she was asked to pay for repairs with sex. She submitted this notarized complaint in 2015, but heard nothing back. So, we asked the Housing Department what happened, and they told us they never received it.

We dug deeper, and we found that since 2016, that 18 sexual harassment complaints have been filed by residents. Complaints the Housing Department would not tell us how they resolved. The notarized statement we obtained is disturbing. The Housing Authority installed a generator because there was no power in half of her house, but it was so loud she and her child couldn't sleep. The maintenance worker asked for money to remove it, and when she couldn't pay, he asked for sex.

Quote, "At about four years ago I had a problem with my electricity cutting off in different rooms. I called the maintenance office to see if someone could check it out. The next day he came out with a big generator and stated he was leaving this here overnight to help my lights work better. I could not sleep because it was so loud and noisy. The next day he came back out to my house to pick the machine up, and he said it would cost me $150. I did not have it because it was the end of the month, and I had no more money to pay him. He stated to me, 'Well, we can have sex to clear this bill up.'" End quote.

This echoes a similar scandal at the city's Gilmore Homes project, which emerged last year. There, the city settled a lawsuit for six million dollars after at least a dozen residents said they had been asked for sex in exchange for repairs.

Speaker 6: He asked me to send him some pictures. And I asked him ... Pictures of my feet. He wanted pictures of my pedicured feet. I felt invaded. I felt disrespected. I let him know I felt disrespected, because I wanted to know what made him think, just because he asked for pictures of my feet, that he should get them.

Taya Graham: This controversy comes amid the news that the city is considering giving the developer of Perkins a massive tax break to rebuild it. According to the Baltimore Sun, the Housing Department is contemplating offering BD Development a TIF, or tax-increment finance deal. It's a subsidy that allows developers to pump their property taxes back into building and infrastructure, a possibility that didn't sit well with residents.

Speaker 7: I just hope it be better than how the living conditions is now, because if they gonna get all this money to do, you know, fix up the buildings, fix up the community, and it still looks the way it looks now, then that's a big concern, because they getting money to fix it so we can live better, so kids can live better.

Taya Graham: BD has benefited from this type of largess before. In 2013, the city gave his firm a 104 million dollar TIF to build the luxury development Harbor East, a property that sits just a half mile from Perkins Homes.

Speaker 8: Do you think a big tax break to a luxury developer is gonna actually help the residents who live here?

Speaker 7: I would really hope so, because that's what the big move, for real, the big plan. So, I would really hope so that it's for the community and for the people.

Taya Graham: We asked the city housing authority for comment, and they declined. But despite the talk of big plans and tax breaks for the wealthy, residents here continue to suffer and wonder if a community that showers money on the already rich will continue to ignore their pleas for help.

Speaker 7: I need to be concerned because I don't really know what's going on, and what's gonna happen for me and my kids.

Taya Graham: We will continue to follow this story as it unfolds. This is Taya Graham and Steven Jannis reporting for The Real News Network in Baltimore City, Maryland.


Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at

latest stories

Trump Boasts of Killer Arms Sales in Meeting with Saudi Dictator, Using Cartoonish Charts
15 Years of Mass Destruction in Iraq
Mercer's Cambridge Analytica 'Utterly Sleazy'
Duterte's Bloody War on Philippines' Leftists
Venezuelan Government's Arrest of Former Interior Minister: A Sign of Fracture?
Meet The Man Behind Cambridge Analytica, Who Made Trump President
Will Congress Affirm its Constitutional Power to Stop the War in Yemen?
A Rare Glimpse Inside a Police Body-Camera Review Unit
In Afrin the Turks are Looting and Pillaging with Gunfire
Protester Arrested At State House: Gov. Hogan Would Not Drink Water Contaminated by Fracking
'Samantha Em-Powers Genocide in Yemen': Students Protest US Role in Saudi War
After a Shooting at His School, a Maryland Teacher Speaks Out
European Left Divided Over Brexit
Marilyn Mosby: From Freddie Gray to GTTF
Trump and the Rise of the European Right, with Reps of UK Labour Party, De Linke, Podemos, and Syriza
Petroleum Executives Visit Trump, Increasing Offshore Oil Drilling
EPA Sued for Removing Independent Scientists from its Advisory Board
Inequality in America: A National Town Hall
Laura Flanders Show: Women's History Makes The Future
Corbyn Allies in Labour Attacked For Supporting Palestinian Struggle
Paul Jay: Threats facing Humanity, Russiagate & the Role of Independent Media
Kochs and ALEC Behind Criminalization of Dissent Bills in Five States
West's Anti-Russian Fervor Will Help Putin Win Election On Sunday
Stephen Hawking: Fighter for Progressive Politics
Corbyn Smeared as 'Russian Stooge' for Requesting Evidence on Poisoned Spy
Chief in Charge of Internal Affairs To Retire from Baltimore Police
Corbyn Calls for Evidence in Escalating Poison Row
Sanders Resolution Against War in Yemen Challenged by Mattis
Senate Expands 'Lobbyist Bill' to Deregulate Real Estate
Expressions of Afro-Asian Solidarity During the Cold War,, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Web Design, Web Development and Managed Hosting