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2017 Federal Legislation to Watch

H.R.614 – To require each owner of a dwelling unit assisted under the section 8 rental assistance voucher program to remain current with respect to local property and school taxes and to authorize a public housing agency to use such rental assistance amounts to pay such tax debt of such an owner, and for other Read more about 2017 Federal Legislation to Watch[…]

Photo of Poe Homes, West Baltimore

The Gutting of American Government

By now you’ve probably heard the news that two Republican legislators have introduced bills in both the House and Senate that would remove funding for HUD’s assessment tools and tracking/database capabilities. This is a dangerous move for two reasons: This data is used by researchers across the country, along with state and local governments, and Read more about The Gutting of American Government[…]

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Republican Lawmakers Attempt to Gut Fair Housing Act of 1968

Background Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) have introduced bills in the Senate (text is not yet available) and House (full PDF) that would effectively gut the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by allowing exclusionary zoning, based on the neighborhood’s “distinct values”, which is nothing more than badly disguised code for a Read more about Republican Lawmakers Attempt to Gut Fair Housing Act of 1968[…]

Photo of Poe Homes, West Baltimore

Dispelling Myths About Public Housing

People love to hate public housing — housing that’s owned or subsidized by the government, whether HUD or a Public Housing Authority (PHA) such as the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. Detractors will point to public housing as the cause of all things terrible in a community, blaming the residents, making all sorts of assumptions Read more about Dispelling Myths About Public Housing[…]

Fair Housing in Baltimore County

In light of the settlement reached between Baltimore County and several organizations and individuals who sued the County, in order to ensure Fair Housing laws are met in that jurisdiction, I’ve read a lot of questions about what “fair housing” means. The first thing people need to understand is that Fair Housing has nothing to Read more about Fair Housing in Baltimore County[…]

Monthly Updates

Some highlights from May, June, and July: May Researched ten properties and suggested some for receivership, reported code violations on others. Worked with three residents to get some of these maintained, to not cause further damage to occupied homes. Wrote nine blog posts. Held the SW Baltimore Industrial Properties Tour, along with Baltimore Heritage and Read more about Monthly Updates[…]

A Tale of Three Cities

People make much of the idea of “two cities” in Baltimore — one, affluent and white, and the other is usually labeled as poor and black. This view leaves out the third group: the folks, black and white, who earn around the city’s median income of $40,000 or so, and have solid potential to be Read more about A Tale of Three Cities[…]

Link Roundup

Did you know Maryland offers an income tax credit for low-income/elderly renters?  It follows the premise that renters pay property taxes as part of their rent, and therefore should be allowed an opportunity to recoup some of that money.  The deadline for filing each year is September 1. The past few years have seen an Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Link Roundup

Owner of a Maryland title company pleads guilty to stealing almost $5 million from customers. Occupy Oakland takes the vacant house problem to a new level.  Please note, we DO NOT encourage this irresponsible and destructive behavior. Home prices are falling again — no surprises there. Baltimore City calls its “Vacants to Value” plan “baby Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Link Roundup

HUD awards Baltimore City Housing Authority $250,000 to address security, crime.  (Link opens a PDF).  Hopefully this will benefit not only the people who live in HABC housing, but also the residents in the surrounding neighborhoods. Fiscal Times writer Liz Peek says the Obama administration still has no policy to address the US housing bust.  Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Link Roundup: Prices, Hud, Lawsuits, and More.

Foreclosure maintenance penalties for banks and other entities who fail to maintain their foreclosed properties.  We happen to think this is a great idea. Another great idea — HUD NSP partnerships.  As long as the money doesn’t benefit slumlords, and as long as it doesn’t allow the City to acquire even more property that it Read more about Link Roundup: Prices, Hud, Lawsuits, and More.[…]

Baltimore Housing Receives $5.8 Million of Foreclosure Aid

From Baltimore Housing: Baltimore, MD (December 10, 2009) – Baltimore Housing has received a total of $5.8 million from Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). As part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Congress created Read more about Baltimore Housing Receives $5.8 Million of Foreclosure Aid[…]

Fraud, Bankruptcy….and HUD Certification?

Poor Vito Simone — he keeps trying to reinvent himself over and over again, but what he fails to realize is that you have to wait a period of time before making your “reformed and remorseful” debut. Realtor, broker, developer…disgraced president of a trade association…. And we have yet to see any remorse from him. Read more about Fraud, Bankruptcy….and HUD Certification?[…]