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After record year for rain, advocates and lawmakers point to mold problems for low-income renters in Baltimore

The Baltimore Sun

After Baltimore’s wettest year on record, housing advocates are seeking more protections for low-income tenants battling mold in their rental homes — and a city councilman is calling for a hearing on the problem.

Last year’s rainfall exacerbated damp conditions, breeding a perfect atmosphere for mold, according to advocates, officials and renters. Such growth had long been a bane to poorer tenants renting older homes in neighborhoods where health data shows residents suffer disproportionately from asthma.

The rainy year caused significant trouble across the region: Mosquitoes multiplied to three times the normal number in Maryland, tomatoes cracked and sunflowers rotted and some farmers lost entire crops, and hundreds of students living on campus at the University of Maryland, College Park, were displaced by mold infestations.

In Baltimore, City Councilman Bill Henry plans on Monday to call for an informational hearing. Advocates want air-quality testing and requirements to treat the fungus like lead paint when it threatens a person’s health.

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