Elrich: Apartments at The Enclave Silver Spring Will Be Inspected

County Executive Marc Elrich has instructed the Department of Housing and Community Affairs to inspect every apartment unit at The Enclave Silver Spring.

The Enclave Silver Spring is located in White Oak, and it consists of three high-rise buildings.

Montgomery County received a total of 113 complaints about the Enclave’s living conditions in 2018. From 2013 to 2017, the county only received 41 complaints about the Enclave.

In Sept. 2018, DHCA inspected 262 apartments of the 1,119 apartment units in the Enclave. During these inspections, DHCA found a total of 367 violations, which averaged to 1.4 violations per unit. Of the 367 violations, 60 of them were life and safety violations.

This announcement means that now DHCA will inspect the remaining 857 apartment units in the Enclave.

“It is unacceptable to live in such conditions. I appreciate the DHCA working with partners to make these inspections happen quickly and showing responsiveness in stepping up the inspection process,” Elrich said in a press release. “This is a first step in correcting deficiencies and other impediments to providing a healthy and safe environment at the property.”

Elrich Follows Through on Promise to Enclave Residents

With this announcement, Elrich appears to be following through with his promise to Enclave residents at a November listening session at East County Community Center.

During the listening session, Enclave residents expressed frustration about the apartment’s living conditions. They even brought photographs of mold from their apartments.

“I have never seen a building as destructed and as molded and infested as The Enclave,” one woman said.

The woman said she’s also seen issues with drugs and prostitution at The Enclave.

Elrich told Enclave residents he’d be making calls to ensure The Enclave is inspected his first day in office.

“I expect an aggressive regime of inspections [and] I expect an aggressive regime of fines,” said Elrich. “I learned when I was in Takoma Park unless there’s a cost for breaking the law.”

How DHCA will Inspect the Enclave

Part of the reason there’s been a surge of inspections at The Enclave Silver Spring is because DHCA has implemented Bill 19-15. Because of this bill, DHCA is required to have more inspections of multifamily apartments in Montgomery County.

Therefore, the Enclave has two years to undergo an intensive inspection. When DHCA issues violation notices during its inspections, that means the Enclave must correct the violations until the problems are corrected.

DHCA is also creating statuses which to identify the living condition of apartment complexes in Montgomery County. Once the County Council approves a regulation, DHCA will publish a list of apartment complexes it has labeled as “Troubled Properties.”

The Enclave’s inspections need to be completed by July 1.

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Deirdre Byrne

About Deirdre Byrne

Deirdre Byrne is a social media coordinator for Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at dbyrne@mymcmedia.org or on twitter at @DeirdreByrneMCM.

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