Residents of Connecticut House apartments have organized a tenants association in order to negotiate safety and security improvements with their landlord, DARO Management.
Residents of 4500 Connecticut Avenue have flagged several issues in communications with DARO, Forest Hills Connection has learned. Residents were being threatened with physical harm by other residents or visitors. Packages were being stolen. Trash was being thrown into hallways and elevators instead of the appropriate receptacles. Police and the fire department were called to the building on numerous occasions.
Connecticut House was not singled out during Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh’s December community meeting on public safety in Van Ness as one of the three “nuisance” buildings referred to the DC attorney general’s office for potential litigation. However, a resident of Connecticut House spoke up at the meeting to give an impassioned plea for help.
Two previously homeless residents with children had moved in, she said, with no supplies or furniture other than beds, and no signs of support from DC agencies. Other residents were doing what they could to help, supplying what food and other necessities, but the families struggled. Amy Schussheim described kitchen fires, a disabled smoke detector, and a warning from firefighters about false alarms.
The new Connecticut House tenants association is including among its demands 24-hour security personnel. E. David Luria, the president of the Brandywine Apartments Tenants Association, is advising them. Another resource is the DC Office of the Tenant Advocate. OTA regularly runs renters’ rights training sessions like this one:
Did you miss our February Renter's Rights 101 training?
You're in luck☘️ — we're hosting another one on Thursday March 17th at 10am
Topics covered include:
Sign up here:https://t.co/KjxE0XWw2u
— D.C. Office of the Tenant Advocate (@OTAatDC) March 11, 2022
OTA also offers customized training for apartment communities on forming tenants associations. Call the OTA at 202-719-6560 for information on starting an association in your building.