The Peace House DC – Ordered to Vacate?!

The Peace House DC – Ordered to Vacate
November 22nd, 2014
After almost a year of fighting an eviction and asking for housing codes violations to be corrected by our landlord Ellen Thomas; a peace and anti-nuclear activist. The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) has decided to punish the residence of The Peace House DC with eviction. The DCRA had assured us that if the Ms. Thomas fails to correct the housing code violations by August 2014 that they would step in and do emergency repairs.Given the fact the residence of The Peace House DC including Concepcion Picciotto; a 30 plus years peace and anti-nuclear activist, have done amazing work within the community focusing on environmental and social justice issues.DCRA is possibly offering us temporarily housing for two weeks. The two-week housing would not be so that the repairs can be made, but rather so The Peace House would have time to find new housing. To our knowledge, DCRA is no longer interested in making repairs; all they are saying is that they are trying to shut us down. Although officially this is not an eviction it is very clear to us that the likelihood of us returning to our residence after two weeks are slim to none. This is why your support is needed!Please contact Jatinder Khokhar at; the Deputy Chief Building Official and Compliance Administrator for DCRA and emphasize that 51.6 degrees cannot be “unsafe” — and that this will make it far less likely that tenants with problems will seek assistance from the city.

We also would like to encourage you to call Eleanor Holmes Norton, who has shown support to the Peace House DC in the past and ask her to contact the DCRA office on our behalf at (301) 704-8328.

As the newly elected Mayor Muriel Bowser continues to advocate for affordable housing and fight against the growing number of homelessness in D.C. We also suggest calling her office to address your concerns about the Peace House’s situation at (202) 832-0403.

If you have any legal questions please contact:
Marc Borbely, Esq. at 202-681-6871 and/or


Please sign, share and show solidarity for The Peace House DC to stop our wrongful eviction! Click here

2 responses to “The Peace House DC – Ordered to Vacate?!”

  1. It appears that the building is being condemned. In 2006 the building inspector condemned a rental property that I owned. My tenants had to move out immediately I had to refund some rent, and no one, including myself could live there. It appears that those living at the peace house and Ellen Thomas have by not working out a repair compromise are both going to suffer. The residents will have to move, the Peace House is also disrupted, and will hopefully relocate intact to a new site, and Ellen Thomas may lose her building. In my case my building was deemed a non conforming building (perhaps because one corner was only about a foot from the property line and this is no longer allowed.) and as a non conforming building the Inspector would only allow me to spend one half of the estimated building value, and thus repairs were limited to $50,000. Nailing the coffin or condemnation shut was the added fact, as explained to me by the Inspector that the work he would need done could not be done by anyone for this limited amount. He then said the best thing you can do is ask the fire department and fire school if they would want to burn your building for a training exercise. This will remove 80% of the materials you otherwise will have to take to the land fill and pay deposal fees. I was able to get the building burned and to make the most of the situation, I with help from some friends decorated the building with protests against the Bush administration and affrimations for green living and peace. My building ended as a peace house. Ellen Thomas may able to make repairs if she acts swiftly and with a clear purpose to convince the inspector to allow the same. Otherwise she may have to remove the building, and since it is in an urban area the reduction in disposal via a training fire are probably not likely. She should speak immediately to save her building or she will soon have much less equity. I was able to make a positive out of my negative building loss, and if you like you can see more about it at the link below. I do hope Ellen Thomas and the Peace House, can find a shared positive path, as Ellen and the rest of you share so much with each other and with so many else of us, who want Peace. We need to work together, so I hope there is a renewed effort for a positive shared unfolding to have a new location for the Peace House, as the Peace House energy must be kept alive. Peace and hugs

    Link to my Progressive House Burn

    • No, the building inn not being condemned, after a year of being told by DCRA that they would repair the housing cold violations if the landlord did not. with no notice whatsoever, Gerald Davidson spent 20 inutes in the house and determined it was unsafe. He only saw 1 smoke detector, when there are 8, he said there were several space heaters running or sitting around, when only 2 are in the house, It was the first and only time he came into the house. DCRA chose to bring in only him, and not the prior inspectors who have been here 8-12 times over the past year, or produce any documents regarding safety issues.

      If you want a good laugh and hear corruption at work, order a copy of the hearing on CD from OAH and listen to his testimony, especially how he calculates average Temperature.

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