Background

During an AIM Accountability Action on March 5, 2020 at The People’s Community Baptist Church, residents of Cider Mill Apartments confronted Mr. Stacy Spann, director of the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) of Montgomery County.

In 2018, the HOC purchased Cider Mill Apartments with the blessing and financial support—$15 Million from the Housing Initiative Fund—of Montgomery County Council.

At the action, Cider Mill residents reported security fears due to lack of proper lighting on the property, non-functioning washing machines to the point that 72% of residents stopped attempting to use on-site laundry rooms, and general chaos surrounding maintenance requests.

The residents’ powerful stories were accompanied by direct asks for concrete, specific changes that Mr. Spann publicly committed to in front of 450 AIM members.


On Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 11:33 AM, the following message was sent to Stacy Spann and Millicent Anglin of the HOC

Mr. Spann and Ms. Anglin,

We are pastors and community leaders with Action in Montgomery who met with you on March 5, 2020 at The People’s Community Baptist Church. At that time, you made the following public commitments:

  • Finish installing the lighting plan, to which HOC had previously committed, by June 30, 2020
  • Replace all non-functioning laundry machines by July 30, 2020
  • Implement a transparent process—in both English and Spanish—for handling and addressing maintenance requests in reasonable time frames by May 31, 2020
  • Lead the tenants association and AIM on a tour of these improvements on July 30, 2020

While we understand that those commitments were made before COVID, we are requesting an update on these commitments.

Ms. Celeste King, Principal at South Lake Elementary School
Ms. Carmen Vasquez, Safe Places- Cider Mill tenants association and South Lake Elementary School
Rev. Nancy Ladd, River Road Unitarian
Pastor Daniel Xisto, Takoma Park Adventist
Mr. Spence Limbocker, Board Chair of the Gaithersburg Beloved Community Initiative


On Friday, July 10, 2020 at 3:43 PM, we received this response from Stacy Spann

Pastors and Community Leaders,

Thank you for your email. We lost a little time as a consequence of COVID-19.  Nonetheless, we are back on track and expect completion relatively soon.  More specifically, 

Stacy and Charnita, please see below:

  • Lighting – Project completion is expected by July 31st rather than June 30th. Most of this work was completed last week; however staff inspection revealed several inoperable lights that still need to be fixed.
  • Laundry machines – Project completion is still expected by July 31st. All laundry rooms have been inspected and repairs are expected to be completed today. Staff have scheduled an inspection for no later than next week. Additionally, we have broadened the scope of work beyond AIM’s requests to enhance security (e.g.,adding fobs/video surveillance to deter vandalism) and are awaiting bids for the work.
  • Bi-lingual & Transparent Maintenance process – Projection completion is expected by September 30th rather than May 31st. We have been negotiating with a vendor for the software.
  • Tour – Tour can be provided by October 31st rather than July 31st. Alternatively, in lieu of a physical tour, we discussed uploading a video to Cider Mill’s website to highlight the improvements. 

Thank you.  Be safe.

Stacy


Spanish translation of response received on Friday, July 10, 2020 at 3:43 PM

Pastores y líderes de la comunidad,

Gracias por su correo electrónico. Perdimos un poco de tiempo como consecuencia de COVID-19. Sin embargo, estamos de vuelta en el camino y esperamos completarlo relativamente pronto. Más específicamente,

Stacy y Charnita, vea a continuación:

  • Iluminación: la finalización del proyecto se espera para el 31 de julio en lugar del 30 de junio. La mayor parte de este trabajo se completó la semana pasada; sin embargo, la inspección del personal reveló varias luces inoperables que aún deben repararse.
  • Máquinas de lavandería: todavía se espera la finalización del proyecto para el 31 de julio. Todas las lavanderías han sido inspeccionadas y se espera que las reparaciones se completen hoy. El personal ha programado una inspección a más tardar la próxima semana. Además, hemos ampliado el alcance del trabajo más allá de las solicitudes de AIM para mejorar la seguridad (por ejemplo, agregando llaveros / videovigilancia para evitar el vandalismo) y estamos a la espera de ofertas para el trabajo.
  • Proceso de mantenimiento bilingüe y transparente: la finalización de la proyección se espera para el 30 de septiembre en lugar del 31 de mayo. Hemos estado negociando con un proveedor para el software (programa).
  • Tour: el tour se puede proporciona para el 31 de octubre en lugar del 31 de julio. Alternativamente, en lugar de un recorrido físico, discutimos subir un video al sitio web de Cider Mill para resaltar las mejoras.

Gracias. Cuidate.

Stacy