Philadelphia Man Dies in Unheated, Illegal Rooming House

A man died in an unheated, illegal rooming house operated by a woman previously accused of running dirty and unsafe personal care homes, authorities said.

Roy Parker, of Philadelphia, died of hypothermia and heart disease on Dec. 22, the medical examiner's office said. City officials closed the home, which had no heat, fire alarms or operating license, within days because of multiple code violations.

Parker was one of 10 people living in the home in the Roxborough neighborhood, Scott Mulderig, chief of emergency services for the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections, told the Philadelphia Daily News. The residents told Mulderig they were paying Rosalind Lavin $450 in monthly rent for each of seven rooms in the carriage house.

Messages left for Lavin and her attorney were not immediately returned Wednesday.

The rooming house is located behind one of Lavin's personal care homes, which was closed last summer after federal authorities accused her of providing grossly substandard care. Lavin, 65, of Villanova, paid $700,000 to settle those allegations and accusations that she misused federal funds to support an affluent lifestyle.

The federal settlement banned Lavin from owning or operating any other personal care homes, where residents are aided with tasks such as bathing, dressing and taking medications.

Prosecutors are looking into whether the carriage house violates the settlement or any criminal law, acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid said in a statement Wednesday.

Three other assisted living facilities Lavin operated in Philadelphia and Media closed several years ago. Prosecutors claimed they were unsanitary; structurally unsafe; provided insufficient food, nutrition, clothing and bedding; and offered substandard care.