AG Schwalb Requires Landlords to Make Critical Health and Safety Enhancements in Wards 1,5,& 8

Settlements Advance OAG’s Mission To Create Safer, Healthier Communities By Ensuring Access to Secure, Stable Housing for Tenants

WASHINGTON, DC – Attorney General Brian L. Schwalb today announced the successful resolution of four separate housing cases that will require landlords in Wards 1, 5, and 8 to remedy serious threats to the safety and security of tenants and community members at their respective properties.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) conducted investigations in response to complaints from community members and referrals from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). OAG’s investigations revealed that at several properties, landlords had failed to address numerous security concerns and code violations – including illegal firearms and drugs, rodent infestations, lead paint hazards, and severe mold – that created serious risks to public health and safety. As a result of OAG’s settlement agreements, the four sites that will be required to address unsafe conditions are:

  • Alabama Plaza, 2201-2209 Alabama Avenue SE, 3218-3222 22nd Street SE, and 3221-3223 23rd Street SE (Ward 8)
  • 209 Florida Ave NW (Ward 5)
  • Buena Vista Apartments, 3308 and 3312 Sherman Avenue, NW (Ward 1)
  • Worthington Woods, 4401-4419 3rd Street SE (Ward 8)

“DC residents have a right to be safe and healthy in their homes and neighborhoods, and protecting that right is a top priority for my office,” said AG Schwalb. “When residential or commercial properties harbor violence, drug use, or are riddled with persistent code violations, communities suffer, systemic inequities worsen, and crime prevention efforts are eroded. Our office will continue to hold property owners accountable for following the law and ensuring their properties are safe, healthy, and free from criminal nuisance activities.”

Additional details on OAG’s action:

Alabama Plaza (2201-2209 Alabama Avenue SE, 3218-3222 22nd Street SE, and 3221-3223 23rd Street SE):

As a result of OAG’s investigation and action, Alabama Plaza LLC – the owner of a shopping center with multiple businesses including a daycare center, grocery store, barbershop, and mobile phone store – must make significant security improvements to address ongoing gun violence and drug activity. The required improvements include hiring private security to patrol the property, providing fencing to protect the daycare center, and ensuring functional security cameras and exterior lights at the property.

A copy of the settlement is available here.

209 Florida Ave NW:

To prevent a recurrence of gun activity at the property, the owner, William Early, will be required to enforce his lease agreement to shut down an illegal nightclub operating on the property where illegal firearms were seized on multiple occasions. Early will also be required to implement increased security measures, monitor future tenants for illegal activity, and provide MPD and OAG with authority to inspect moving forward.

A copy of the settlement is available here.

Buena Vista Apartments (3308 and 3312 Sherman Avenue, NW):

To address unsafe housing conditions, Aquila Holdings Revocable Trust – the former owner of Buena Vista Apartments –  paid $105,000 to a newly-created tenant cooperative to fund critical repairs, canceled $350,000 in past due rents, and dismissed 19 eviction cases it had previously initiated. The former owner also paid $150,000 to the District to resolve lead hazard and other claims.

A copy of the settlement is available here.

Worthington Woods (4401 – 4419 3rd Street SE):

MHP Worthington Woods LLC, the owner of a 392-unit residential apartment complex in Ward 8, will be required to substantially renovate the property, with OAG oversight. These required renovations will include upgrading electrical, heating, hot water, and security systems, building a new community center, ensuring existing security cameras are in working order, and addressing all existing lead-based paint hazards, mold issues, and pest and rodent-related housing code violations at the complex.

A copy of the settlement is available here.

Assistant Attorney General Chris Peña fielded the Alabama Plaza and Buena Vista Apartments cases. Assistant Attorney General Matthew Meyer negotiated the 209 Florida Avenue Assurance of Voluntary Compliance. Section Chief Jennifer Berger negotiated the Worthington Woods Assurance of Voluntary Compliance.

Resources for Tenants

OAG offers resources to help renters and tips on how to report problems with landlords or housing conditions. Residents can access specific guidance around tenant rights now that the public health emergency has ended. If you have a complaint related to the safety and security of your rental housing, you can report that to OAG’s Social Justice Section at