By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
The following WUSA videos are simply heartbreaking, as 77 families – many with children – are scrambling to get another roof over their heads. Electricity, gas, and water utilities have been shut off at Lynnhill Condos in Temple Hills, Maryland. Residents have been left in the cold and in the dark.
According to reports, the condo association has been broke for the past few years, and owes $1 million in unpaid utility bills. Yet Prince George County has allowed the association to advertise apartments for rent and lease to unsuspecting tenants.
As I watched the following videos, I wondered how this could be happening in America?
How is it that an irresponsible private landlord-owners association is allowed to amass more than a million dollars in debt and exploit individuals and families struggling to make ends meet?
Many Americans want to help. They don’t want to men, women, and children made homeless, particularly with winter just around the corner. Taxpayers and various non-profit groups contribute their hard-earned money to assist with rent payments, furnishings, and social support when needed, only to have a broken housing system that utterly fails residents of Lynnhill Condominiums.
Residents of Lynnhill are now in survival mode. They need a safe place to sleep at night. Someplace to take a warm shower. Tell me, how can employees do their best work, and children do their best in school, when families are forced to live with this kind of housing insecurity — knowing that at any time, they might be left without lights, heat, hot meals, running water, and even a roof over their heads?
When will our politicians realize that local, state, and federal government housing policies are at the root of the problem? Misguided housing policies keep enabling private, for-profit, corporate real estate interests to build and manage more and more condominium and townhouse associations under the guise of housing “affordability.” Then city and state officials turn a blind eye as many of these housing associations are poorly managed and run into the ground. Meanwhile, management companies and condo boards continue to demand high condo fees and monthly rent, even as bills remain unpaid, and living conditions become worse with each passing day.
Then one day the problem becomes a crisis. Finally, someone from the city or state steps in. Emergency services are called upon to maintain safety and order. Financial assistance is promised to help with relocation. Tax dollars are ultimately used to condemn buildings in poor condition, while creditors clog up the court system in an attempt to collect the money they are owed.
Is this how government “helps” its people in need of a safe, warm home for themselves and their children?
The sad truth is, there are thousands of broken condo associations across the U.S. like Lynhill, with residents facing the same plight or worse.
And yet, here we are, in the midst of a nasty, divisive election year, and none of our politicians seem to care about housing issues or rampant corruption in the real estate industry. Dead silence on the issue.
That’s why people like Scott Broom, and the team at WUSA, need to be commended for bringing this issue to the attention of their viewers in the Washington DC area.
Residents look to federal bankruptcy judge to get utilities back
Politicians offer plans to residents of Lynnhill
TEMPLE HILLS, MD (WUSA9) – State Senator C. Anthony Muse said he will appear before a judge Thursday to try to get the power back on at Lynnhill Condominiums.
“Tomorrow we will go in to court. I’ll testify. I’m asking citizens to come testify so that we can impress on the judges that it’s not your fault,” Muse said.
The senator, who represents Prince George’s County, told a crowd of Lynnhill residents that he’d requested an emergency hearing from the attorney general.
Read more, see VIDEO:
UPDATE Oct. 27,2016 11:46 PM