Monday, January 30, 2006

Here's a Candidate for Worst Person in the World

Leonard J. Samia is "one of Boston's largest and most notorious landlords." His Samia partnership owns Louisburg Square Apartments in New Orleans. After Katrina hit many of the apartments remained intact and unharmed. So evacuees who had not yet returned home thought they had dodged that proverbial bullet. But Samia launched an aggressive 3 month campaign to remove all the tenants from the 200 apartment complex in order to lease the apartments for higher rents to contractors and such......
In interviews with the Globe, former tenants, their lawyers, neighborhood residents, housing advocates, and community activists said it was a concerted, relentless eviction effort. In those interviews, stories emerged of attempts by the complex's managers to oust tenants despite a statewide eviction moratorium; of demolition crews gutting the apartments of tenants who had not yet returned after fleeing the hurricane; of units emptied of personal possessions by contractors, and of contractors and building employees who then cherry-picked valuables such as VCRs and televisions from trash heaps; of contractors now living in the same apartments that tenants were told were uninhabitable; of license plates removed from tenants' cars in the complex parking lot and then towed as abandoned vehicles; of access to mailboxes blocked by the demolition and locked laundry facilities; and of garbage and construction debris piled near doorways, attracting flies and vermin that created intolerable living conditions.
Samia has been unavailable for comment so the Globe went to his home.....
Samia did not return several calls for comment and was not available at his Brighton office last week. A woman who answered the door at Samia's house -- a six-bedroom mansion perched on a one-acre wooded lot with a gated driveway, high stone fence, security cameras, and a statue of a large camel in Lexington's wealthy, historic Meriam Hill neighborhood -- said ''no comment" and slammed the door.
Read the rest though be forewarned it will piss you off because Samia is the Worst Person in the World. I wonder if Keith has seen this story?
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