Congressman Jamie Raskin and Councilmember Kristin Mink Join Tenants in Demanding Immediate Action Against Corporate Negligence


Silver Spring, Maryland – On Saturday, March 9 tenants and elected leaders came together at The Enclave Silver Spring Apartments to demand justice and accountability in housing conditions. Led by the newly-elected Board of the Enclave Tenant Association, supported by Progressive Maryland, the rally drew attention to the urgent need to address hazardous living conditions and tenant mistreatment. The livestream of the action may be found on Progressive Maryland’s Facebook page. 

Tenants and Elected Leaders demonstrate in front of the leasing office

For years, residents of The Enclave have faced a litany of issues under the management of Hampshire Properties. From safety concerns to neglected maintenance, tenants have been vocal about their struggles to maintain decent living conditions in their homes. Recent tragedies, including homicides and health hazards like pervasive mold, have underscored the dire need for action. In October 2023, the Enclave Tenant Association delivered a demand letter to Hampshire properties calling for working elevators; timely and effective maintenance; safety and security; and pest control measures. Management failed to meet any of the tenants’ demands and conditions have only worsened. The Progressive Maryland Enclave Tenant Association delivered the same demands with the addition of calling for mold control and prevention after the March 9 rally because of Hampshire Properties’ failure to improve conditions.  

The rally commenced with tenants marching around the building before gathering in front of the leasing office, where they placed a list of demands on the door, outlining their urgent needs and expectations for better living conditions.

Congressman Jamie Raskin emphasized, "Everybody who is a tenant in Montgomery County has the right to live in an apartment building where safety, security, working elevators, pest control, regular maintenance, and justified rent increases. We're here today to say to the Hampshire Property owners and potential buyers, take the high road. Make the investments necessary for decent, habitable living environments. We've got laws here, and we're going to enforce those laws to make sure every tenant gets to live the kind of life that the owners are living in their houses and apartments."

Councilmember Kristin Mink added, "The conditions at The Enclave are unacceptable. The owners need to know that there is nothing they can do to stop people power from demanding what needs to be done here. Bed bug infestations, malfunctioning elevators, and other issues are simply not acceptable."

Councilmember Kritsin Mink speaks at the Rally

Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins emphasized the importance of legislative action to protect tenants' rights, particularly highlighting her seven-year effort to pass the Just Cause Eviction bill. This bill ensures that tenants are not left without a home for arbitrary reasons by requiring landlords to provide a proper reason if they decide not to renew a lease. After years of advocacy, Wilkins celebrated the recent passage of the bill in the Environment and Transportation Committee.

Additionally, she talked about how tenants at the Enclave have gotten lease non-renewals just for advocating for better conditions and vowed to stand with them.

Members of the Enclave Tenant Association voiced their demands for immediate improvements in living conditions, including safety and security measures, functioning elevators, pest control, timely maintenance, and fair rent prices. 

One tenant, Saryu Goel, shared their experience, stating "When I first moved in, I noticed cockroaches everywhere. I reached out for help, but nothing happened. Then, I started to notice mold on the walls. Mold is bad for our health and bad for our kids. For 3 months I've been dealing with it and finally, I said I have to get out of this place "

Pascale, Vice President of the Progressive Maryland Enclave Tenant Association Board, spoke on her experience “I have housing injustice ptsd. I have had a homeless man sleeping outside of my door in my hallway for 4 months. I have called management, police and security and the man is still sleeping there every night and management has done nothing. Ptsd from housing injustice is because when you come home at night and you go into your bathroom to take a shower after a long day you see water leaking from the ceiling. You call maintenance and they never come until 6 days later. It means you come home and there are no functioning working elevators with over 400 tenants. That is criminal.”

She also emphasized the need for accountability, stating, "We must make Hampshire Properties pay the price. They must be held accountable."

The rally also served as a message to prospective buyers, Beach Hill Capital, that tenants will not tolerate the perpetuation of deplorable living conditions.