In an interview with The Baltimore Sun this week, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. (D) says he finds a “certain irony” in hearing President Trump’s recent attacks on Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and his district as being a “rat and rodent infested mess” when “his own son-in-law was directly involved and his company was directly involved in creating the conditions where that quality of life was threatened.”
Olszewski pointed out part of the role Kushner Companies, which was founded by the father of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and owns more than 7,200 properties in Baltimore County, has played in creating the rodent infested conditions in the area.
“We had to both threaten significant fines as well as withholding federal payments to ensure there was compliance,” Olszewski told the paper. “There’s a certain irony in hearing the president attacking a city and region when his own son-in-law was directly involved and his company was directly involved in creating the conditions where that quality of life was threatened.”
“You’re talking about a company that was using local taxpayer dollars to help subsidize these apartments and they were frankly in conditions that as a father I wouldn’t want to raise my daughter or my family in,” he continued.
According to The Baltimore Sun, a number of the Kushner-owned properties in Baltimore have reportedly been racked with code violations and residents’ complaints of rodent infestations.
In a November 2017 release from the Baltimore County government, the office revealed “the existence of more than 200 code violations in apartments owned by the Kushner Cos. in Baltimore County, all accrued in the current calendar year.”
“After threatening to withhold HUD rental payments and levy fines, necessary repairs were made in all but nine properties,” the office continued, referring to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Those nine unrepaired properties resulted in withholding of HUD rental payments and issuance of $3,500 in County fines.”
A number of residents who have lived in apartments owned by the Kushner’s family real estate company have also complained about conditions amid Trump’s attacks on the area.
“I had black mold in my cabinets. I called them, I called them, I called them. And they never did anything,” Simone Ryer, who lived in Whispering Woods in Middle River several years back, told The Associated Press. “That was more than enough for me to leave.”
Dezmond James, who lives at a Kushner-owned building in White Marsh, told the AP that he found mice in his new apartment just days after moving in.
“They don’t care,” James said.
“His son-in-law owns all of this — then he can fix it. I’m pretty sure he has a lot of money,” he continued. “That’s kind of weird that you want to talk trash. … If you want to make improvements, you can make improvements.”