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Baltimore housing director meets tenants amid neglect claims

Baltimore’s longtime housing commissioner has met with public housing residents who say their maintenance needs have been systematically ignored.

Commissioner Paul Graziano met with tenants on Monday to discuss what they described as squalid conditions including lack of heat, dangerous mold and vermin infestation.

Graziano has come under fire after a lawsuit was filed against the housing authority and three maintenance men accused of withholding repairs for female tenants who refused to have sex with them. Since then, residents have also come forward about inadequate conditions in their apartments.

John Comer, an organizer with the advocacy group Communities United, says Graziano agreed to do a walk-through evaluation of public housing complexes.

Rochelle Barksdale, a resident who attended the meeting, says Graziano was apologetic, but residents are still frustrated.