ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH COUNTY -- Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale

450 protest planned AHA lease changes

More than 450 residents of Annapolis' public housing communities have signed petitions and written letters protesting proposed changes in their leases.


Housing officials drafted new lease regulations this fall to speed up evictions, stop late rent payments and offset high maintenance costs.

But tenants of many of the city's 10 public housing communities fear that they will be charged more money and evicted too quickly.


The Annapolis Housing Authority's board of commissioners decided yesterday to have a public hearing on the changes after attorneys review the new regulations.

Jean Tyler, president of the Residents Advisory Board, told the commissioners that many tenants want the new lease explained.

She also said seniors were opposed to reducing the grace period on late payments from seven to five days because they receive their Social Security payments in the middle of the month.

Harold S. Greene, the authority's executive director, said some sections of the lease were mandated by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, but others could be fine-tuned. Federal officials passed new guidelines this year requiring that residents be evicted if criminal activity occurs in their apartments, even if they're not responsible.

The authority wants to raise the minimum security deposit from $30 to $50 because at least 10 percent of the residents don't have to pay rent under federal regulations.

Mr. Greene said he proposed using part of the rent payment to offset maintenance costs, such as fixing broken toilets, because some residents neglect their apartments and refuse to pay for repairs.

A hearing will be scheduled before the commissioners' monthly meeting Dec. 9, said Chairwoman Marita Carroll.