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Conditions At Park Southern Apartments In Southeast D.C. Becoming Political Issue

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Conditions at the Park Southern Apartments were described as "disgusting" by Muriel Bowser during an appearance on The Kojo Nnamdi Show earlier this year.
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Conditions at the Park Southern Apartments were described as "disgusting" by Muriel Bowser during an appearance on The Kojo Nnamdi Show earlier this year.

There’s new controversy surrounding a troubled housing complex in southeast D.C. and its politically-connected managers. Lawyers for the city are now asking that the building be sold because its finances were “grossly mismanaged.”

Park Southern is an apartment complex for low-income residents in Ward 8. The building, which was backed by a $3 million city loan, fell into disrepair. Residents sued the nonprofit in charge of the complex, claiming mismanagement of money, and the city moved to seize the building.

At the center of the dispute is Joyce Scott, head of the nonprofit, and Phinis Jones, who ran the building’s management company. Both are political allies to Muriel Bowser, the democratic nominee for mayor.

At some point this spring, Bowser intervened and unsuccessfully tried to set up a meeting between the city and Jones and Scott to resolve the issue.

Her opponent in the mayor’s race, David Catania, has seized on the issue, accusing Bowser of caring more about her political backers than the residents in the building. Catania has also called for Bowser to hold a hearing on the building — but Bowser has declined and instead asked for the Inspector General to look into it.

The latest filing in court by the city — which goes into detail on how the finances of the building were allegedly mismanaged — asks that a judge order the sale of the building.

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