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[…]

Behind on Your Property Taxes or Water Bill? Don’t Lose Your Home!

It’s that unfortunate time of year again when we have to start thinking about the city’s tax sale and the people who could potentially lose their homes because of an unpaid tax or other municipal lien. The Pro Bono Resource Center is again hosting a series of tax-sale workshops for homeowners who need information about Read more about Behind on Your Property Taxes or Water Bill? Don’t Lose Your Home![…]

Mayoral Candidate Frank Logan on Housing

Finishing up with the last of the mayoral candidates on their housing positions, here are Frank Logan’s answers to the questionnaire, with no edits: 1. Baltimore City has 30,000+ vacant homes. Do you have a plan for cleaning up the blight that isn’t a rehash or continuation of previous plans? And how do you propose Read more about Mayoral Candidate Frank Logan on Housing[…]

Mayoral Candidate Alan Walden on Housing

Mr. Walden’s answers to the housing questionnaire appear below, with no edits. 1. Baltimore City has 30,000+ vacant homes. Do you have a plan for cleaning up the blight that isn’t a rehash or continuation of previous plans? And how do you propose to pay for your plan? Not all of the tens of thousands Read more about Mayoral Candidate Alan Walden on Housing[…]

Mayoral Candidate Patrick Gutierrez on Housing

The second of the second-round candidates to respond in the correct format is Patrick Gutierrez. His answers are below, with no edits: 1. Baltimore City has 30,000+ vacant homes. Do you have a plan for cleaning up the blight that isn’t a rehash or continuation of previous plans? And how do you propose to pay Read more about Mayoral Candidate Patrick Gutierrez on Housing[…]

Mayoral Candidate Joshua Harris on Housing

The first of the second-round candidates to respond in the correct format is Joshua Harris. His answers are below, with no edits: 1. Baltimore City has 30,000+ vacant homes. Do you have a plan for cleaning up the blight that isn’t a rehash or continuation of previous plans? And how do you propose to pay Read more about Mayoral Candidate Joshua Harris on Housing[…]

Mayoral Candidate David Warnock on Housing

The fourth candidate to respond in the correct format is David Warnock. His answers are below, with no edits: 1. Baltimore City has 30,000+ vacant homes. Do you have a plan for cleaning up the blight that isn’t a rehash or continuation of previous plans? And how do you propose to pay for your plan? Read more about Mayoral Candidate David Warnock on Housing[…]

Mayoral Candidate LaVern Murray on Housing

The third candidate to respond in the correct format to our four questions was LaVern Murray. Her answers are below, as transcribed by her Committee Chairmen [sic] Brennan A. Murray, with no edits: 1. Baltimore City has 30,000+ vacant homes. Do you have a plan for cleaning up the blight that isn’t a rehash or Read more about Mayoral Candidate LaVern Murray on Housing[…]

Mayoral Candidate Tirell A. M. “Mack” Clifton on Housing

The second candidate to respond in the correct format to our four questions was Mack Clifton. His answers are below, with no edits: 1. Baltimore City has 30,000+ vacant homes. Do you have a plan for cleaning up the blight that isn’t a rehash or continuation of previous plans? And how do you propose to Read more about Mayoral Candidate Tirell A. M. “Mack” Clifton on Housing[…]

2016 Mayoral Candidates on Housing

Candidates were asked for their plan to address vacants and other housing issues in the city, with the idea of publishing their responses so residents could better understand where each candidate stands on this issue. Each candidate was given the same four questions, along with the same amount of time to answer. Baltimore City has Read more about 2016 Mayoral Candidates on Housing[…]

Water, Water, Everywhere

Baltimore City is getting ready to shut off the water of 25,000 people across the city, if the water bill is two months overdue. According to one article, at least one third of those who will lose water are 369 businesses that account for $15,000,000 of lost revenue, and the rest are homeowners and tenants. Read more about Water, Water, Everywhere[…]

More on Low Wages and the High Cost of Housing in Baltimore

MIT has a wonderful online resource that calculates a living wage vs. poverty wages, and it reinforces the data I posted in my previous post on salaries and the high cost of living in Baltimore City. Some highlights, assuming a household of one adult and one child: Only nine of the typical wage job categories Read more about More on Low Wages and the High Cost of Housing in Baltimore[…]

The Other Side of the Affordable Housing Coin: Jobs and Wages

Housing affordability, particularly for median income workers, has become a much-talked about topic of late. Rising rents have forced a large segment of city residents to spend well over 30% of their net monthly income on shelter costs, which can lead to severe financial trauma later on. One of the reasons why city residents are Read more about The Other Side of the Affordable Housing Coin: Jobs and Wages[…]

A Misstep at City Hall?

Today, our Planning Department is holding a hearing on a bill that would prohibit landlords from discriminating against those who receive rental assistance from the government:  Section 8 or Housing Choice Vouchers.  While I applaud the City’s efforts to address the low-income housing issue, I fail to see how this will have any real impact. Read more about A Misstep at City Hall?[…]

Link Roundup

Maryland Court of Appeals votes 5-2 to overturn the most controversial part of Maryland’s antiquated ground rent law, according to the Baltimore Sun.  Hopefully this loophole won’t result in people losing their homes again, as reported a few years ago in the Sun. Here’s an older post about Baltimore’s ground rent controversy, with links to Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Link Roundup

Milton Tillman and his son have struck a plea deal with the feds, according to the Maryland Daily Record.  Tillman Jr. is throwing himself on the sacrificial altar so his son can plead to a simple misdemeanor and serve no jail time.  You can also read more about the Tillmans here, and in the Baltimore Read more about Link Roundup[…]

City Amends Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo

Baltimore City has amended its lawsuit against Wells Fargo, citing property tax loss and a drain on city services like police and fire.  The suit was originally dismissed in January by Judge J. Frederick Motz, who cited the City’s criminal culture and lack of accountability as part of the vacant housing problem. Yesterday’s Maryland Daily Read more about City Amends Lawsuit Against Wells Fargo[…]

MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 10 in Baltimore City

The Maryland Department of the Environment issued enforcement actions against 9 property owners in Baltimore City for lead paint violations.  A total of 47 properties were out of compliance and a total of $270,250 in fines were assessed. Tonya D. Horton – 2 affected properties, $45,000 for alleged violations. Israel Cason – 13 affected properties, Read more about MDE Issues Enforcement Actions Against 10 in Baltimore City[…]

City To Sell Local FOP Lodge Over Tax Dispute

According to WBAL Channel 11, Baltimore City is trying to sell several properties that have overdue tax bills, including a local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 building.  According to the report, the FOP building is the subject of a water bill dispute, and FOP members are shocked at this action by Baltimore City. In Read more about City To Sell Local FOP Lodge Over Tax Dispute[…]

Mayor Rawlings-Blake Opposes HB1096/SB889, Despite City Council Approval

We recently received a copy of a memo (link opens a PDF) sent to the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee from Diane Hutchins, Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Relations for Baltimore City.  In the memo, she asks the Committee to oppose HB1096/SB889, the split-rate property tax for vacant and uninhabitable structures.  If you Read more about Mayor Rawlings-Blake Opposes HB1096/SB889, Despite City Council Approval[…]