The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Baltimore Public Housing Falls Apart

Nov 14, 2016

A year ago, the Baltimore Housing Authority had 4,000 work orders outstanding; residents pointed out their apartments were falling apart. The city admits they have completed only 20% of the maintenance needed at the J. Van Story Branch public housing for seniors. Or as another resident put it, “They are not doing anything. They ain’t taking care of their responsibility and they always want to infringe on our rights.”

The Baltimore Housing Authority has more than a one-hundred-fifty-million-dollar surplus. And everyone who lives in those buildings understands why. The Housing Authority doesn’t spend the money on necessary repairs and preventative maintenance. They are making money by pocketing the rent people pay, then letting their apartments go to pieces.

Now, the Housing Authority wants to sell 40% of the low-rent units it controls to private developers. Private developers are in business first and foremost to make a profit, period. They see how the Housing Authority made money. Why would they reinvent the wheel? The developers will simply do more of the same.