Mediation Has Begun in Annapolis Fair Housing Lawsuit
The federal discrimination lawsuit against Annapolis and the housing authority is expected to include more than 52 public housing residents, many of whom are children. According to the motion, five adults and 17 children were recently added to the lawsuit.
Attorney Joe Donahue submitted the motion adding the additional plaintiffs in the lawsuit claiming there has been discrimination by the city and the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis for decades. According to the complaint, discrimination has led to “deplorable conditions” for public housing residents in the area.
Carrie Blackburn, attorney for the housing authority, stated there will be no opposition to the motion and the housing authority has “agreed based upon the efficiency and economy of a single action, it made sense to allow the inclusion of additional plaintiffs instead of plaintiffs’ counsel filing a second nearly identical separate action.”
Annapolis began inspecting and licensing properties in 2019 and at least three communities have undergone the process at that time. All five of the plaintiffs added to the lawsuit live in public housing units that have undergone inspection but still have dangerous conditions, including rodent infestations, mold, and plumbing issues.
According to the attorney for the plaintiffs, “Our concern is that although the city of Annapolis now is claiming to be inspecting and licensing properties, their inspections appear only to be to grant licenses, go through the motions for granting a license. The things we were complaining of a year ago are continuing to this day. The same conditions, the same problems in these properties, even though the city is theoretically now inspecting so that they can give licenses. The conditions in the properties have not changed at all in the year since we filed.”
Both sides are hopeful mediation will resolve the issues before summer’s end.