Jim Crow is Alive and Well…

Yesterday I posted an Instagram photo of a piece of graffiti [Name Withheld] did on the top of a building near Clipper Mill, and I had my first Instagram Fight. The photo I posted was this: Jim Crow Runs Bmore. Indeed “he” does, but having this idea, and saying so publicly, sparked a discussion about Read more about Jim Crow is Alive and Well…[…]

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![…]

Governor Hogan Announces $700 Million Initiative in Baltimore City

As we’ve read in the news, Maryland has begun a $700 million plan to revitalize blighted neighborhoods in Baltimore City, starting with $9.875 million in funding (FY 2016) for demolishing unsafe vacant homes. After speaking with Audra Harrison, Director of the Office Public Information for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, I am Read more about Governor Hogan Announces $700 Million Initiative in Baltimore City[…]

TOMORROW: Rally to Save Baltimore Civil Rights History

Bethel AME Church has demolished one of Baltimore’s historic civil rights landmarks, located at 1234 Druid Hill Avenue, and it’s unclear as to whether they want to demolish 1232. Neighbors, community activists, and preservationists are horrified by the lack of respect the church has shown towards these historic homes over the years. They’ve allowed them Read more about TOMORROW: Rally to Save Baltimore Civil Rights History[…]

Action Needed: Urge Your Legislators to Support HB0186, Maryland Uniform Real Property Transfer-on-Death (TOD) Act

Bill Information: Establishing the Maryland Uniform Real Property Transfer-on-Death (TOD) Act; authorizing an individual to transfer specified property to one or more beneficiaries effective at the transferor’s death by a transfer-on-death deed; establishing that a transfer-on-death deed is revocable and nontestamentary; providing that the capacity required to make or revoke a transfer-on-death deed is the Read more about Action Needed: Urge Your Legislators to Support HB0186, Maryland Uniform Real Property Transfer-on-Death (TOD) Act[…]

Support City Council Bill 13-0293

Introduced in the Baltimore City Council by Councilman Henry (District 4), this bill would expand the definition of vacant houses, giving Baltimore Housing the ability to levy fines against blighted nuisance properties faster, and impose harsher penalties against owners who did not comply. (Source: WBAL) Many of our vacant structures are owned by absentee landlords, Read more about Support City Council Bill 13-0293[…]

Maryland Court Orders Houston Slumlord to Clean Up Baltimore Blight

Reported in the Baltimore Sun by Natalie Sherman: A Baltimore City Circuit Court judge has ordered an absentee Baltimore landlord to clean up about 50 blighted properties within 90 days, the first ruling since a state law was amended two years ago to make it easier for community groups to sue the owners of problem Read more about Maryland Court Orders Houston Slumlord to Clean Up Baltimore Blight[…]

Developers and Solutions Needed!

Baltimore City has a housing problem (no, not the vacants this time).  One that isn’t unique to Baltimore, but one that nobody seems to be willing to address, at least not publicly. When we talk about affordable housing, it’s generally relative to home purchases or housing for the poor.  Those two things are important, yes.  Read more about Developers and Solutions Needed![…]

Link Roundup

Haven’t done one of these in a while, so there are lots of random interesting links! Oh, the things people do in and around vacants…don’t let your kids read this one. The Chicago City Council approved a measure that offers renters protection if their apartment building goes into foreclosure. While many residents are pleased with Read more about Link Roundup[…]

A Tale of a Missing Address: 101 Willard Street

A few months ago, I spent the day in Shipley Hill and Yale Heights, two of my favorite Baltimore neighborhoods.  Lots of interesting architecture, beautiful once-grand homes, tidy smaller homes — and yes, lots of blight, unfortunately. I came across a curious group of buildings — obviously an old factory complex, one of the buildings Read more about A Tale of a Missing Address: 101 Willard Street[…]

2500 Eutaw Place: A Story of Spite and Abandonment

Many thanks to Reader LR for playing tour guide and snooping around with me! Property Address:  2500 Eutaw Place, Baltimore, MD 21217 Property Owner:  Twenty Five Hundred Associates, 2312 W North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21216 It’s worth noting that no such company is registered with the state.  Their address traces back to another company that Read more about 2500 Eutaw Place: A Story of Spite and Abandonment[…]

A Most Curious Building: 1001 W Baltimore Street

You can’t help but wonder about this building, and its ownership — it stands next to a random arch that’s not connected to anything, and the building seems old.  Really old.  And out of place — but it has an old sign attached that says “Hee Haw Carryout” and you know at one time, this Read more about A Most Curious Building: 1001 W Baltimore Street[…]

Reader-Submitted Blight: They Say Time Heals All Wounds…

…but apparently time does not cure housing policy issues in Baltimore City. Property Address:  1120 N Milton Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21213 Property Owner:  2008 DRR-ETS, 3604 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224 Resident Agent for 2008 DRR-ETS:  Disbarred attorney Anthony J. DeLaurentis, DeLaurentis, Reiff, and Reid, 3604 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224 City Council District and Read more about Reader-Submitted Blight: They Say Time Heals All Wounds…[…]

WWJD? 1520 Hollins Street: Owner Demolishing Interior Without Permits, Damaging Home Next Door

Property Address:  1520 Hollins Street, Baltimore, MD 21223 Property Owner:  Jeanne Allert and Christopher Spoonire, same address/3727 Church Road, Ellicott City, MD 21043. City Council District and Contact:  District 9, “Pistol” Pete Welch State Senator:  Verna Jones Rodwell State Delegates:  Keith Haynes, Keiffer Mitchell Jr, Melvin Stukes Neighbors in the community report this owner started Read more about WWJD? 1520 Hollins Street: Owner Demolishing Interior Without Permits, Damaging Home Next Door[…]

701 W Lafayette Avenue: An Example of Systemic Abuse and Sheer Greed

Property Address:  701 W Lafayette Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217 Property Owner:  701 Lafayette, LLC, 3431 Wabash Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21215 (Charter has been forfeited, company is not in good standing.) Resident Agent for 701 Lafayette, LLC:  Harris and Folick, Inc., 2442 Eutaw Place, Baltimore, MD 21217.  (Resident agent’s charter has also been forfeited, corporation is Read more about 701 W Lafayette Avenue: An Example of Systemic Abuse and Sheer Greed[…]

Oh So Pretty We’re Vacant

Spent part of the afternoon at the city’s failed Old Town Mall, a pedestrian mall with no intuitive access points, and clusters of vacant buildings. The city has been trying to redevelop this property for years — with no progress. At present, it’s an open-air drug market and a haven for trash and grime. Hopefully Read more about Oh So Pretty We’re Vacant[…]

Link Roundup

Weed vigilantes in Detroit clean up their neighborhood, including vacants. More in Detroit — hundreds of volunteers got together to board up vacants near school routes so kids would be safer.  I would be up for such a project here in Baltimore — any takers? Charges filed in Patterson Park mortgage fraud case. Baltimore City Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Link Roundup

Detroit makes safe routes to school a priority, plans to tear down vacants along school routes.  “…But the reinvention of Detroit cannot be complete without including the neighborhoods.” I wonder if Baltimore is listening. Palm Beach County, Florida ranks second among large metro areas for vacant homes. Interesting fact from the article: “According to the Read more about Link Roundup[…]

City-Owned Historic Blight

Property Address:  811 W Lanvale Street, Baltimore, MD 21217 Property Owner:  Mayor and City Council, 417 E Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21202 City Council District and Contact:  District 9, “Pistol” Pete Welch It’s always a shame to walk around neighborhoods in Baltimore and see all of the blighted vacant homes. It’s even more disturbing when Read more about City-Owned Historic Blight[…]