Lawsuit targets Baltimore's 'Murder Mall' apartment complex

Sandwiched between West North Avenue and it's well-to-do neighbors in Reservoir Hill, Madison Park North is home to the working poor who need vouchers to get by.
 
"Sometimes we can't just move, because we want to move," said Yolanda Pulley who has lived in the complex for 22 years.
 
She's one of 76 plaintiffs in a lawsuit claiming the landlord has collected tens of millions of federal dollars while delivering substandard housing.
 
"We live with mice.  My son fell through the steps,” Pulley said. “It's just crazy how she makes us live, and we're tired of it."
 
People here claim they live with bedbugs, rats, mice and other vermin, not to mention contending with the human variety.
 
In the last four years, 1,000 drug offenses and violent crimes have happened in and around the complex, which has become known as "Murder Mall", and the city has spent much of that time in court trying to revoke the owner's license.
 
"Nothing that is happening now gives these citizens any compensation for the horrors they've been through," said Attorney William “Billy” Murphy, Jr.
 
Murphy says the lawsuit will send a message to slumlords throughout the city that they must provide safe and sanitary housing or else.
 
 
"There have been kidnappings, abductions, murders,” said Murphy, “Most recently there was an abduction of a young woman who was sexually assaulted and tortured while imprisoned for several days on the premises of this apartment development."
 
The lawsuit doesn't put a dollar figure on the potential damages the tenants are seeking, but it appears they will be as sizable as the problems they say they have encountered here.
 
"Well if they could basically tear the property down and rebuild it and give residents an option to come back with different management then it might actually be a better place to live," said Pulley.
 
Attorneys say the tenants are held captive to their apartments at Madison Park North since their federal vouchers won't transfer with them if they try to leave to find better housing.
 
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