Councilwoman Ramos after threat of legal action from NACA: ‘I will not be silenced’

BALTIMORE — Faced with the threat of legal action from a housing nonprofit, City Councilwoman Odette Ramos responded Friday, saying she stands by her “buyer beware” notice about the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America.

“I will not be silenced. It is my job as a Baltimore City Councilwoman to provide information to residents so they can make good decisions,” she said. “Residents have choices as to where they obtain housing counseling services and I have provided the information for other organizations in Baltimore who provide free housing counseling services.”

The 14th District councilwoman confirmed she received a “cease and desist” letter from the group, which claimed Ramos’ comments about their “questionable practices” were unfounded.

In a press release on Wednesday, Ramos alleged the group makes potential homebuyers looking for assistance pay a membership fee and volunteer with the organization.

Over a decade ago, a CBS Miami investigation found angry NACA customers across the country stuck in “an endless cycle of paperwork.”

Ramos and the group have clashed before.

In April, NACA’s CEO Bruce Marks led a rally at City Hall in support of Council President Nick Mosby’s proposed revival of the Dollar House program. Dozens of supporters poured out of overflow rooms and into hallways.

During his testimony to the council, Marks accused Mayor Brandon Scott and Ramos of working for developers.

“Sir, you cannot accuse me of that,” Ramos responded. “You’re not from here, sir, you don’t even know, you don’t even know.”

Marks then led the rally straight to Scott’s office while the council was in session and banged on the metal door, telling the crowd the mayor had refused to meet with his organization to talk about the program.

It was later learned those supporters were fulfilling a volunteer requirement for NACA’s mortgage program.

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