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Housing Comm. Meets Tenants Outraged Over Poor Conditions

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Demanding answers. Amidst a sex scandal involving maintenance workers and deplorable conditions, the people who live in public housing finally get to meet with the city's housing chief. He will also face a City Council hearing.

Meghan McCorkell talks to residents.

Those public housing residents say they are hopeful, but they need to see action.

Holes in the walls, broken heaters, mold and rodent infestations.

"I watched one lady make her kid cereal, and the milk dumped into the cereal, roaches were in the milk," said Lucky Crosby, former housing employee.

But residents in public housing say when they try to get conditions fixed...

"One of my work orders, it took two and a half years," said Rochelle Barksdale, McCulloh Homes resident.

On top of that, nearly a dozen women have filed a lawsuit alleging maintenance men demanded sex for repairs.

"And then they come in there and try to get fresh and try to hit on us. But you haven't been doing anything. So I started locking my door and not letting them in," said Sara Garrett, Gilmor Homes resident.

Now activists are taking their demands to the top.

On Monday, they met with Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano, who promised reforms and comprehensive tours of each housing complex.

"He did promise us that he was committed to this, but you know, promises come a dime a dozen," said John Comer, Communities United.

Residents aren't the only ones who want housing officials held accountable.

Graziano now faces a City Council hearing about the sex scandal.

"At least the allegations have been going on for several years. And apparently, people in higher places have known about these allegations," said Carl Stokes, (D) Baltimore City Council.

Residents hope this is a turning point.

"Are they going to say what they agreed to or what they promised? I need to know," said Barksdale.

So they can live in their homes without fear.

The site visits by the housing commissioner are set to begin later this week.

WJZ has learned the State's Attorney's Office is looking into whether the maintenance men accused in the sex scandal should face criminal charges.

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