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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[…]

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[…]

Testimony in Support of HB 268 Corporations and Associations – Limited Liability Companies – Company Representative

January 29, 2014 Economic Matters Committee HB 268 Corporations and Associations – Limited Liability Companies – Company Representative SUPPORT Dear Chairman Davis and Committee Members: My name is Carol Ott, and I am the founder and director of Housing Policy Watch, an organization examines the issue of vacant and deteriorating properties and neighborhoods in Baltimore Read more about Testimony in Support of HB 268 Corporations and Associations – Limited Liability Companies – Company Representative[…]

Link Roundup

Oh boo hoo!  Maryland property managers think it’s too much to pay what amounts to $4 a month for lead paint insurance.  Seems to me it’s cheaper than a multi-million dollar lawsuit. Ohio’s Attorney General designated part of the mortgage lawsuit settlement towards demolishing vacants.  Some say this money should go to homeowners — what Read more about Link Roundup[…]

Investors Association Wants to Roll Back Lead Regulations in Maryland

From an email I just received from the Baltimore Real Estate Investors Association: Before October 24, 2011, Landlords were immune from lawsuits if they were in compliance with Lead Poisoning Prevention Program… That has all changed! Come to Baltimore REIA’s General Meeting for an open discussion with our Professional Panel about the various issues surrounding Read more about Investors Association Wants to Roll Back Lead Regulations in Maryland[…]

Urgent Help Needed: Support SB 620 / HB 670 Today!

When spending so much time writing about, documenting, and thinking about vacant homes — one can forget there are families living in homes that are just as unsafe, and cause an equal negative impact on our neighborhoods — not to mention the health and safety of the tenants within.  We’ve often written about the housing Read more about Urgent Help Needed: Support SB 620 / HB 670 Today![…]

Anti-Slumlord Bill Passes the Pennsylvania Senate, Moves to House in the Fall

Now THIS is a piece of legislation we can rally behind! Maryland needs this law — tried to get something similar passed last year for Baltimore City, but Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asked the Maryland Legislature to drop the ball (or the bill, so to speak).  We can’t help but wonder why Maryland is always lagging Read more about Anti-Slumlord Bill Passes the Pennsylvania Senate, Moves to House in the Fall[…]

House Bill 1096: Contact Your Legislators!

Senate Bill 889 (Baltimore City – Property Taxes – Vacant and Uninhabitable Real Property) has been crossfiled in the House.  HB 1096 is sponsored by Delegates Hammen, Krysiak, and McHale.  Please contact your State Delegates and ask them to vote in favor of this bill.  The bill would allow Baltimore City to charge a higher Read more about House Bill 1096: Contact Your Legislators![…]

Senate Bill 889: Contact Your Legislators!

Finally the split-rate property tax bill is coming to the Maryland Senate for a vote.  Now is the time to contact your legislators and let them know that as a taxpaying law-abiding property owner, you think slumlords and other negligent property owners should have to pay a higher price for their unlawful behavior. This bill Read more about Senate Bill 889: Contact Your Legislators![…]

The Community Regeneration, Sustainability, and Innovation Act of 2009 (S 453/ HR 93)

While Baltimore hasn’t experienced the short-term population losses that other cities have dealt with — we still think Maryland legislators need to take a look at this bill and give their support.  We’re very excited about this piece of legislation — it could be used to do amazing things in cities across America, and while Read more about The Community Regeneration, Sustainability, and Innovation Act of 2009 (S 453/ HR 93)[…]