A tenant in an apartment development managed by D.C. City Council candidate H.B. Crawford accused him in a formal complaint yesterday of refusing to permit campaign forums there at which his opponents would speak.

The complaint was filed with the Washington metropolitan area office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by Shirley A. Washington, a tenant in the 1,000-unit Edgewood Terrace Apartments, 601 Edgewood St. NE.

Crawford described the charge as "rubbish" and unfair. He acknowledged, however, that he did refuse permission for a forum in an Edgewood Terrace recreation room, but that he offered to pay the $85 cost of renting a nearby school auditorium for the event.

A former assistant secretary of HUD, Crawford is regarded as a front-runner among nine aspirants seeking the Democratic nomination in the Sept. 12 primary election for an at-large seat on the council.

With the campaign in its final three weeks, his rival candidates have sought to make a major issue of Crawfords deep involvement in government-subsidized housing and his strong support from real estate interests.

Crawford said yesterday that he is involved in the management of about 6,000 housing units around the city, occupied by upward of 18,000 people.

In her complaint, Washington said Crawford "rudely denied use of any of the [four Edgewood recreation] rooms, claiming there is not ample parking space . . . we [the group seeking to sponsor the events] explained . . . these forums were for the benefit of the residents, (and) we could not see the logic of his denial.

"While denying the tenants the use of these rooms, members of his campaign committee have and are using these very same facilities to raise funds for Mr. Crawford from tenants of the complex . . .

"I personally feel Mr. Crawford as a candidate is taking advantage of the tenants," she said, terming it "a denial of our basic rights as citizens and tenants."

She handed the two-page type-written complaint to Suzanne Wilson, secretary to Terry Chisholm, HUD's metropolitan area director. Chisholm, who was reported to be in a meeting, did not respond to a reporter's request that he telephone later to discuss how the complain would be handled.

The first word of Washington's plan to file the complaint came from the campaign headquarters of Marie Nahikian, a rival candidate for the council seat. Nahikian had outlined the accusation against Crawford at a forum Thursday held by a senior citizen group at All Souls Unitarian Church.

Crawford noted that Washington works for the D.C. Rental Accommodations Office (RAO), and that Nahikian is a tenant representative on the Rental Accomodations Commission, which ajudicates contested decisions by the RAO.

Washington insisted she is not supporting anybody in the campaign. Nahikian said Washington is not one of her supporters, and the RAO connection is just a coincidence.

When first asked for his reaction, Crawford said he had talked to Chisholm about Washington's earlier attempt to file an oral complaint.

Crawford angrily rejected any idea that he does not want his tenants to hear the views of his rivals.

"This stuff is getting crazy," Carwford told a reporter. ". . . Keep on, and you'll lose the campaign for me. It's lot of nonsense."

He said he felt the other candidates should stick to the real campaign issues. "You'd think I'm the issue," he said.

Crawford said about 4,000 people, adults and children, live Edgewood Terrace, and that none of the recreation rooms could handle the crowd if a sizeable proportion of residents decided to attend. He also cited the scarcity of parking for visitors and candidates.

"I have my own meetings (of tenants) at the school," which he said he offered to rent for the forum."Isn't that fair? Isn't that right?" he asked.

Crawford denied Washington's charge that his campaign committee is using Edgewood Terrace facilities to raise funds. "Some people have taken it upon themselves to have a bake sale," he said.

Although workers in Crawford's outer office wear campaign buttons and there are Crawford posters on the walls, he said he has not permitted any of his placards to be placed outdoors around the property.

"Yes, my people wear buttons," Crawford said. "Nobody is forced to wear buttons."

Crawford said any candidate is welcome to place campaign literature on the counter in his office.

Crawford said any candidate is welcome to place campaign literature on the counter in his office.

Crawford interrupted a recent interview by a reporter to greet City Council member William R. Spaulding (D-Ward 5), who dropped in with a handful of brochures. "I'm not even necessarily supporting him," Crawford said.