Help Create Strong Advocates: Donate Today!

I’m starting to work on a new project, and need help with fundraising. This project is a joint effort between Housing Policy Watch and the Southwest Baltimore Charter School, an elementary-middle school located in the Pigtown neighborhood of Baltimore, and the neighborhood’s only school for students in grades six through eight. Two sixth grade teachers Read more about Help Create Strong Advocates: Donate Today![…]

Free Utility Bill Legal Clinic for Seniors

The Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland is hosting a free legal clinic for seniors where you can receive legal advice about your water or gas and electric bills. Date and Time: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 Location: Southeast Community Action Center, 3411 Bank Street, Baltimore, MD 21224 The clinic is open to Baltimore residents, age Read more about Free Utility Bill Legal Clinic for Seniors[…]

Contact Your City Council Representative: Proposed Changes to CCC Routes are Bad for Baltimore

The Charm City Circulator, a free shuttle system that connects many of Baltimore’s neighborhoods to downtown is in jeopardy, and your help is needed. The Banner Route, which runs from Locust Point (including Fort McHenry, a popular tourist destination) to downtown, could be eliminated. The extension to the Purple Route, from Penn Station to Charles Read more about Contact Your City Council Representative: Proposed Changes to CCC Routes are Bad for Baltimore[…]

Baltimore Sustainability Plan Survey

From the Baltimore Department of Planning: We’re very lucky to have strong ties with Baltimore’s communities through the Baltimore Commission on Sustainability and various other forums and partnerships. But we know that one of the best ways to connect with people and learn what they’re doing and what they need is to empower experts and Read more about Baltimore Sustainability Plan Survey[…]

Homeowners Property Tax Credit Deadline: September 1

Maryland residents, the Homeowners Property Tax Credit deadline of September 1 is fast approaching — you may be eligible to save on your property taxes, but you must file every year to get the credit! The credit is based on household income, so please go here to view the eligibility criteria and form you’ll need Read more about Homeowners Property Tax Credit Deadline: September 1[…]

Project C.O.R.E Community Meeting June 29

Please attend this important meeting regarding vacants and the implementation of Project C.O.R.E — the city/state partnership to demolish vacant homes. June 29, 6:00-8:00 PM Edmondson-Westside High School, 501 N Athol Avenue, 21229 Let the city know where you think we need more demolition, stabilization, or other strategies to address the city’s 30,000 vacant homes!

Bandit Signs: The New Blockbusting

“I wish they wouldn’t post those here, they make our neighborhood look trashy.” I hear this a lot about bandit signs — those “WE BUY HOUSES” signs that pop up like toadstools after a storm. And yes, they do make a neighborhood look trashy. But even worse — they’re the new tool for blockbusting. For Read more about Bandit Signs: The New Blockbusting[…]

Maryland Renters’ Tax Credit: Deadline September 1

The Renters’ Tax Credit is currently only available to low-income and/or senior renters.  However, our legislators did do something positive on this front during this year’s legislative session — the credit has been increased from $750 to $1000. HB340 was signed into law by Governor Hogan in May. If you think you might qualify for Read more about Maryland Renters’ Tax Credit: Deadline September 1[…]

2015 and 2016 Outcomes: Thank You!

Successes and Outcomes: A Look at 2015 and 2016 I wanted to take a moment and update everyone on our progress. As donors, supporters, partners, and friends, I also want to take a moment to say thank you for everything, as none of these successes would have happened without your advice, financial support, and hard Read more about 2015 and 2016 Outcomes: Thank You![…]

Putting Out the Affordable Housing Fire

The Problem Baltimore’s current affordable housing crisis is yet another fire our government has to put out — despite it smoldering for years, turning into a full blaze right around the same time as the housing bubble and subsequent “bust”, leaving thousands in foreclosure and unable to afford steadily rising rents. Many cities are faced Read more about Putting Out the Affordable Housing Fire[…]

The New Redlining

People love data. Numbers. They paint a different, more succinct picture than words sometimes, and they can be turned into maps, infographics, and other visuals that have a bigger, faster impact. However, numbers can be manipulated in a way that allows governments and corporations to create policies that keep poor people away from things that Read more about The New Redlining[…]

Solution: Close the Tax Sale Loophole

With all of the recent discussion around collapsing vacants, negligent property owners, and the city’s tax sale system, there has been a lot of hand-wringing (and rightfully so, as someone was killed the other day when a vacant collapsed on a man while he was sitting in his car) and mutterings about tax sale foreclosures Read more about Solution: Close the Tax Sale Loophole[…]

The Housing Questionnaires: Lessons Learned

It’s always interesting to ask a random group of people the same questions and see what you get back. I guarantee at the very least, you won’t be bored. Hopefully you’ll even be enlightened at the end of the process. Candidate surveys and politics in general are two things I tend to stay away from, Read more about The Housing Questionnaires: Lessons Learned[…]

District 14 City Council Candidates on Housing

Three candidates, including the incumbent City Councilwoman for District 14, responded to the housing questionnaire. Two of the candidate response pages are linked below: Mary Pat Clarke (incumbent) David Harding One candidate, Tom Boyce, sent me an email that simply said “Dear Carol, I don’t know.” in response to the questionnaire. When I replied, asking Read more about District 14 City Council Candidates on Housing[…]

District 14 City Council Candidate David Harding on Housing

David Harding was the second District 14 candidate to respond to the questionnaire. His answers are below, with no edits: 1. Baltimore City has 30,000+ vacant homes. How do you intend to clean up blight in your district that isn’t a rehash or continuation of previous plans? And how do you propose to pay for Read more about District 14 City Council Candidate David Harding on Housing[…]

District 14 City Council Candidate Mary Pat Clarke on Housing

Mary Pat Clarke, the incumbent Councilwoman for District 14, was the first to respond to our questionnaire. Her answers appear below, with no edits: 1. Baltimore City has 30,000+ vacant houses. How do you intend to clean up blight in your district that isn’t a rehash or continuation of previous plans? And how do you Read more about District 14 City Council Candidate Mary Pat Clarke on Housing[…]

No Response From District 13 City Council Candidates

Sadly, no responses were received from any of the District 13 candidates: George Johnson, Warren Branch (incumbent), Antonio Glover, Kenya Lee, Ronald Owens-Bey, and Shannon Sneed.

District 12 Candidate Ian Schlakman on Housing

Ian Schlakman was the only candidate from District 12 to respond to the questionnaire. His answers are below, with no edits. The following candidates did not respond: Kelly Cross, Gary Crum, Ertha Harris, Jason Pyeron, Rashad Staton, Gordon Stock, and Frank Richardson. 1. Baltimore City has 30,000+ vacant homes. How do you intend to clean Read more about District 12 Candidate Ian Schlakman on Housing[…]

District 11 City Council Candidates on Housing

Two candidates responded to the housing questionnaire — their responses are linked below. Eric Costello (incumbent) Greg Sileo The following candidates did not respond:  Curtis Johnson, Harry Preston, and Dea Thomas.

District 11 City Council Candidate Greg Sileo on Housing

Greg Sileo was the second of two candidates to respond to the housing questionnaire. His answers are below, with no edits. 1. Baltimore City has 30,000+ vacant homes. How do you intend to clean up blight in your district that isn’t a rehash or continuation of previous plans? And how do you propose to pay Read more about District 11 City Council Candidate Greg Sileo on Housing[…]