For this week’s cover story, I decided to check out the personal homes of a few of the city’s so-called slumlords. Some of them were typical fat cats: dudes with mansions in Potomac who made their fortunes renting run-down apartments in the city.
One guy turned out not to be a slumlord at all—he has a nice house in Cap Hill and some pretty nice affordable housing in Southeast. What surprised me was the number of alleged slumlords who live in pretty crummy cribs. Lots of peeling paint and chintzy furniture. The star of my adventure was Rufus Stancil, who lives in a big, beautiful house on upper 16th. It really needs a new coat of paint. Most of the landlords I talked to were open and tried to make a case for themselves. Stancil wanted me out. Here’s a photo I shot of him after he shoved his arm in my face:
Also: a bit of opining that didn’t end up in the story: Many of the tenant advocates I spoke with were worried that the city’s recent lawsuit against several landlords had been hastily thrown together, that it was more political posturing than dedication to fixing a problem. I did find two serious mistakes in the suit: the city is suing two dead people. They say they’re going to fix that.