Temple Hills Residents Rendered Homeless After Condo Association Fails To Pay Utility Bills
Owners of Lynnhill Condominiums failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in Pepco and Washington Gas utility bills, leaving hundreds of Temple Hills, Md., residents without power around 1 p.m. on Tuesday (Oct. 25).
“They really gave us no notice. [I’ve] been up all morning trying to call shelters and stuff like that. They say we're technically now homeless, so it's nothing that we can do,” one resident told FOX 5. While some residents opted to stay with family after being forced out of the complex, others told the news station they had nowhere to turn for help.
As a result, several people have chosen to stay in spite of authority orders to vacate the building, according to a follow-up report. "I've been here for years and years and years," another resident said. "I don't know [what I'm going to do]."
David Gilmore, president of the New Condominium Association, said Pepco was unwilling to honor their new development plan and, instead, demanded a large downpayment of 20 to 25 percent. Pepco has since released a statement to FOX 5 addressing the matter, deeming it the final option after failed negotiations:
The disconnection of electric service to any of our customers is a last resort that we only take if all other options have been exhausted. We care about our customers and are always willing to work with them to resolve issues involving their electric service. We can’t discuss specifics of this case due to state privacy regulations but we are always willing to make payment arrangements if our customers have trouble paying their bill. We also support a number of programs that help reduce and cover energy costs and there are a number of free programs available in Maryland that can help customers save energy and money. We encourage the customers affected to contact their property management company.