By Harold Bell
Update: (April 6, 2012 from Harold Bell): I recently received a prompt response from the office of AARP CEO Mr. Addison Barry Rand. He directed me and other seniors to government and non-profit organizations where we could seek relief and support from rental property managers and landlords that care-less about the welfare of senior citizens. Congressman Steny Hoyer’s office has made an Inquiry into the problems seniors are facing in this region. Senator Ben Cardin’s office has also expressed an interest to this alarming crisis. Humphrey Management Company is evicting senior residents for late rent violations.
AN OPEN LETTER TO AARP CEO BARRY RAND / AMERICA: NO COUNTRY FOR OLD PEOPLE?
Dear Mr. Rand,
Thanks for your response to my e-mail “Where we stand!”
I recently participated in one of your Community Out Reach programs titled “You’ve Earned a Say” at my Pin Oak resident in Bowie, Md. The program was held on Thursday March 29, 2012.
The Out Reach program was hosted by a group of AARP volunteers. Among them was a childhood friend who admitted she didn’t have any answers much like her colleagues on how to cure the ills of Medicare and Social Security! They made it clear that they were just the messengers.
Mr. Rand in a recent column in the Wall Street Journal it read in part, America Is Not A Friendly Place To Grow Old.
The survey was conducted by Wider Opportunities for Women, better known as WOW!
The report said, “Seniors Citizens nationwide are nowhere near economic security.”
The organization calculated the average income for retirees for each state in the country, as well as their cost of living. While older Americans in some regions are faring better than others, their cost exceeded their income by at least $1,000 per year in every state.
Based on the report, 24/7 Wall Street identified the 10 states with the largest gap between the cost of living and the average elderly income, also known as the economic gap. In these states the average independent senior is short $6,000 each year.
The report concluded, in a worst case scenario, the difference between expenses and income is more than $10,000 annually. This report alone tells you how much trouble we are in as senior citizens in America. This is a sad commentary!
In a pamphlet survey conducted by your AARP volunteers there were 6 categories we were ask to respond.
On Saturday March 31, 2012 two days after the AARP meeting 21 residents from the Pin Oak complex met in the library to further discuss the AARP meeting and survey. The resident’s response to the multi-choice survey can be found below.
1. Which of these statements do you think describes Social Security the best? D) It is in a state of crisis
2. Which of these statements do you think describes Medicare the best? D) It is in a state of crisis
3. Do you expect to get more back from Medicare and Social Security than you have contributed, less, or about the same? D) Less
4. When it comes to securing the future of Medicare and Social Security, which of the following do you expect? B) Benefits will be reduced
5. When it comes to changes being made to Social Security and Medicare in Washington, which of the following describes you the best? B) I want my voice to be heard, but I don’t think it would make a difference
6. Do you believe that it is important to strengthen Medicare and Social Security? Why or why not?
The response was unanimous; We all would benefit if Medicare and Social Security was strengthen, but everyone came to the same conclusion, the bipartisan politics in Washington would never allow this type of progress in our life time.
Mr. Rand, for this type of progress to take place, there would have to be an “Even Playing Field.” Politicians would have to have the same stake and dog in this fight that the rest of us have. But their posture and response always seem to be the same ‘Not in my House!’
In my response to your commentary in January 2012 titled “Where We Stand!” I asked the question where was AARP when the politicians signed off on a bill not to give senior citizens a cost of living increase in Social Security in 2008? The passing of that bill was a death sentence for most of us.
Three years after rent, medicine, food, clothing, gas and basic essentials have been raised through the roof we are given a $42.00 increase in our checks. The increase is taken before we can even spend it. Thanks, to an increase in our Medicare benefits. It is really too little and too late for most of us according to the Wall Street Journal.
Seniors Citizens have become “Second Class Citizens” we are ranked at the bottom of the Totem Pole just below children.
The disrespect as it relates to seniors is regional. In conversations with Ms. Angela M. W. Thanyachareon, Esq and Ms. Justina M. Uram Mubangu, Esqthe complaints about the mistreatment of senior citizens are heard daily. They are Executive Directors of Legal Aid Clinics in DC and Virginia respectively. The clinics are designed to aid the poor and needy. Their work is priceless!
I have watched up close and personal how seniors are mistreated and disrespected here at my building in Bowie. When they are late or fall behind in their rent we are bullied and intimidated by management. They talk to us like we are their children, very condescending.
The next morning after the “You have earned a say” presentation I woke up to a phone call from a next door neighbor. She was concerned because one of neighbors is a cancer patient and he had not picked up his papers in two days.
I dressed and went to knock on his door without a response I than proceeded downstairs to alert management. They had failed to respond to a similar incident several days earlier but this time responded immediately.
They discovered our neighbor was not home and had been staying at his son’s home for the past two days.
I have been a Pin Oak resident for 8 years and there has been 6 different Community Managers in the rental office!
In the meantime, I found the concerned neighbor consoling a weeping resident who was threatened with eviction because she was two months behind in her rent. The Good Neighbor took the woman to the bank to withdraw the money so that she could pay her rent, but not before the resident had been chastised and berated by the Manager. The manager has no people skills and it makes you wonder who is training these people, Willie Lynch!
Management has often denied seniors “Due Process.”They make themselves Judge and Jury! There is a paper trail of fraudulent documents in Landlord Tenant Court to evict residents illegally. Rules are changed and revise to speed up the process of eviction. There is no compassion to work with us.
The management has placed documents under resident’s doors, saying for example; “The Sheriff will be coming to evict you on January 28th.”
The Sheriff’s office is contacted and it is discovered there is no summons on file for the eviction. The Sheriff’s Office advises the resident to call Landlord Tenant Court for an update on their status.
The court advises the resident that he is due to appear in court on February 13thas it relates to his resident (two weeks after the notice). Landlord Tenant reps say they have noticed there has been a sharp increase in landlords using illegal tactics to evict tenants.
On February 13, 2012 I was summoned to court for failure to pay rent. I was in arrears $4,039.00. I explained to the judge I had $3,037.00 and I could pay the balance ($962.00) once my social security check arrived on the 4th Wednesday of the month. The judge agreed. This would bring me current again.
The attorney for Humphrey Management returned to court after the agreement. He filed papers saying “I had paid $0.00 to Humphrey management!” He than asked the judge for repossession of the rental property Without Redemption (see attachment for fraudulent summons).
I paid the $3, 037.00 on February 13th as ordered and the balance $962.00 two weeks later. I had receipts showing I had fulfilled my obligation.
The summons Without Redemption clearly shows the attorney returning to the court on 3/9/2 stating in writing I had paid $0.00 to Humphrey Management. This is fraud in black and white but they call it “White Collar Crime” so it is okay?
I returned to court on Tuesday March 20th one day before the scheduled eviction. The judged stayed the eviction! The question, how many other residents have they tricked like this?
While on the subject of the Sheriff’s office, during the AARP presentation a Prince Georges County Sheriff was seen exiting our lobby elevator with a young man in handcuffs. He looked like anything but a senior citizen!
The Pin Oak complex has no security cameras inside or outside of the building. In 2010 a resident was assaulted and attacked by another resident in broad daylight. The attacker has had three other encounters with residents since his last attack and he still lives in the building!
The latest, residents and their visitors’ cars are being towed because management has neglected to have adequate parking for both. Management has lured a towing company to the complex and cars are being towed at $175.00 per tow!!!
In 2010 Humphrey Management lowered the age requirements from 62 to 56 for Pin Oak residents. The building now resembles a scene out of a Charles Bronson movie where the thugs took over a senior resident. Bronson was summoned by and old friend for help but by the time he got there his friend was dead! Humphrey Management’s bottom-line seems to be “Show me the money!”
It is often said, “Where there is smoke there is fire.” Humphrey Management has properties all over the country and I will bet their other properties are being managed in the same way.
There was a suggestion during the meeting we should put together a YOUTUBE presentation to expose this terrible plight of senior citizens in this region!
Who can we trust, AARP, Politicians, landlords? The bottom-line lately in America has been “God bless the Child Who Has His Own.”
Mr. Rand, would you please refer me to someone in the legal aid office of AARP, I and other seniors need someone to assist us? There is a sense of urgency. Humphrey Management and their kind need to know that someone is watching them. I am looking forward to renewing my membership with AARP.
I appreciate you acknowledging our life time of work with at-risk children and senior citizens here in the metro area. The transition from Kids In Trouble to Adults In Trouble has been life changing.
In closing, we wish you well in all your endeavors and may God continue to bless you in your fight to represent a segment of our society that seems to have no one to champion their future.
Founder of Kids In Trouble, Inc
I have broken bread with Presidents, high profile politicians and some of the greatest athletes of our time. On Sunday March 25thmy dear friend boxing historian Bert Sugar died. As a human being he was a class act. Last year (March 16, 2011) I helped to make it possible for him to be honored on the floor of the House of Representatives (Congressional Record). I have a group picture with him and your father around here somewhere! I put together a YOUTUBE presentation to honor his memory (see link below).
Harold Bell is the Godfather of Sports Talk radio and television in Washington, DC. Throughout the mid-sixties, seventies and eighties, Harold embarked upon a relatively new medium–sports talk radio with classic interviews with athletes and sports celebrities. The show and format became wildly popular. Harold has been an active force fighting for the rights of children for over 40 years with the help of his wife through their charity Kids In Trouble, Inc. To learn more about Harold Bell visit his official web site H. B. Sports Legends.com.