The issue is always: Keep yourself safe while focusing attention on the problem of drugs in your community.
Patti writes: There are 5 subsidized apartment complexes for families in my community. I have received
multiple calls from families living in every one of these complexes who
NEED to move because the drug activity is so bad there. Mother's who won't
let their children go outside and play. Reports of needles in the
yards. These families are afraid to live there but can't afford not
RN writes: Our building used to be pretty bad, with addicts and people coming in and
out, to buy and sell. The tenants formed a security team, to keep the
side doors closed at night, confronted people going in and out those
doors. Management was supposedly on board, but proved not to be. Tenants
can sign petitions to make management evict known dealers in the
building, known tenants who threaten the safety of others. Send a copy
to Fair Housing,
HUD the police and sheriff. Its a start, but the fight will take time.
Getting in dealers business, could be dangerous, but it could also make
them move on to quieter places....
Keeping your report anonymous 1. Use a cutout. Asking a RHINO partner agency to make your report can make you anonymous. 2. use caution in providing telephone or email reports because phone numbers and email addresses may be public records that can be obtained by bad guys. Maybe avoid using your personal phone or email account when making anonymous complaints to a government agency.
Sherry on Slumlords of Columbus comments "So,
don't be stupid like I did ... hand out business cards with email
address (using my full name) and then use that same address for
reporting narcotics, trash, etc., etc.!"
Remember that anonymous reports carry less weight than formal reports from credible witnesses (not hearsay). What about when your manager is involved? COHHIO got a call that a property manager was seeking information about what kinds of prescription drugs tenants had in their apartments. MANAGERS DON'T NEED THIS INFO...except for the wrong reasons.
Drug Dealer Downstairs Here's an article on the same topic in Salon.com.
What are your ideas and experiences? Whatever we learn, we share!
1. Give written
complaint to management. If afraid, see #3 and #4. 2.
If tenants aren't afraid to use their names, they could file
complaints with HUD or Assisted Housing about the problem.
Assisted Housing is at 1-877-506-3552
3. If tenants are
unwilling to use their own names, your
local RHINO partner agency should be willing to share anonymous
info with HUD or other intermediaries...with the understanding that
it is much harder to get action on anonymous complaints. Find RHINO
Partners at: http://home.rhinohio.com/participate/partners
or call 888-485-7999. 4. Complain to HUD Inspector General
hot line where
tenants can file anonymous reports. We don't know how effective
this is...could be worth a try. 5. In the case of criminal activity, file a complaint with local law enforcement.
In USDA, Tax Credit or
1. Contact your local
RHINO partner agency to find out "next steps" 2. Complain to RD Inspector Generalhot line 3. DO NOT CONTACT YOUR LOCAL USDA OFFICE. Information provided to USDA directly is not secure and USDA officials may not be reliable investigators.
If it is not Federally assisted Housing...
1. there's a provision in the Ohio Landlord Tenant Law that makes a
landlord OBLIGATED TO EVICT a tenant when notified by a law enforcement officer of a drug violation in connection with a property.
(9) Promptly commence an action under Chapter 1923. of the Revised Code,
after complying with division (C) of section 5321.17 of the Revised
Code, to remove a tenant from particular residential premises, if the
tenant fails to vacate the premises within three days after the giving
of the notice required by that division and if the landlord has actual
knowledge of or has reasonable cause to believe that the tenant, any
person in the tenant’s household, or any person on the premises with the
consent of the tenant previously has or presently is engaged in a
violation as described in division (A)(6)(a)(i) of section 1923.02 of
the Revised Code, whether or not the tenant or other person has been
charged with, has pleaded guilty to or been convicted of, or has been
determined to be a delinquent child for an act that, if committed by an
adult, would be a violation as described in that division. Such actual
knowledge or reasonable cause to believe shall be determined in
accordance with that division.
Working with local law
enforcement to get them to issue notices to landlords could be the way
to force management to act. As long as managers can go home to another
community at the end of the day, they often can ignore the problem.
When law enforcement says: "This is your obligation" it can help
management focus their attention on the drug issues at the property.
2. Local officials can also use the Ohio Nuisance statute to threaten owners who are failing to act when they have been made aware of drug activity.