Calls for Bradford House security, repairs

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan Members of the Dorchester County Senior Council called for improvements at Bradford House during their meeting on March 26. In front from the left are Pat Simmons, Constance Elliott, Charlotte Lankford and Chairman Dwight Cromwell. In back from the left are Daniel Henry, David Owens and Wendell Foxwell. Member Mary Turner was not present.

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
Members of the Dorchester County Senior Council called for improvements at Bradford House during their meeting on March 26. In front from the left are Pat Simmons, Constance Elliott, Charlotte Lankford and Chairman Dwight Cromwell. In back from the left are Daniel Henry, David Owens and Wendell Foxwell. Member Mary Turner was not present.

CAMBRIDGE – Members of the Dorchester County Senior Council called for improvements in maintenance and security at the Bradford House during their meeting on March 26. The 122-unit building at 701 Race St. offers rent-adjusted Section 8 housing for senior and disabled citizens.

“Things are in dire need of repair,” Council Chairman Dwight Cromwell said. “They have removed all security. They now have traffic at all hours of the night.”

Council member Pat Simmons lived there for more than 12 years, until she moved out two years ago. She remembered that during her time there, strangers would get into the building and stay overnight in the lobby.

“People were sleeping on the couches,” Ms. Simmons said. “They weren’t residents.”

She said conditions in the building deteriorated while she lived there, and the strangers in the halls concerned her.

“It did bother me,” Ms. Simmons said. “If I found someone there, I would call the police.”

Mr. Cromwell said illegal activity occurs in the building, “Especially around the first of the month, check time.”

The council sent management a letter inviting them to the March meeting, but, “They didn’t show up,” Linda Bradford said.

The Dorchester Banner contacted Assistant Manager Peggy Boston by phone. Ms. Boston said she had been at the property for “seven or eight months,” and was not aware of the invitation to the Senior Council meeting.

She said she could not comment directly on conditions at the building without permission from her supervisors.

The site is managed by Preservation Management, Inc. A statement on the company’s website says, “Preservation Management Inc. provides comprehensive residential property management services in many states throughout the U.S. Our portfolio consists of residential multi-family properties and we specialize in managing affordable housing utilizing various subsidy programs and/or Low Income Housing Tax Credits. The company also provides resident services programs, tailored to the needs and interests of residents, at many of the properties it manages.”

A call to PMI headquarters in Maine was not returned by press time.

Virginia McGrath was enjoying the mild weather on Friday with a friend, as they sat in the pavilion at one of the rear corners of the building. “I try to live quietly and get along with people,” she said.

But in her eight years at the Bradford House, she said she has seen conditions deteriorate. “It was like one big, happy family,” she said. Now, though, there is “a lot of damage,” she said.

Insects are present as well. “They have bedbugs,” Ms. McGrath said.

Individuals she suspected of illegal activity “threatened my life, threatened my daughter,” she said. “It was all kinds of strangers.”
Ms. McGrath said she once saw a couple having sex in a hallway.

Residents described a window they said had been shot and shattered. Early this month, the window was taped, but not repaired.

“We’re really concerned about the safety of the senior citizens,” Mr. Cromwell said.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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