Driving down Greenmount Avenue to the Baltimore Montessori School, a sweet little 4 year old exclaimed gleefully, “O goody, we get to see the broken houses.”
Hidden behind those broken houses are community groups who have kept the faith with their neighborhoods and private and nonprofit developers who have steadily resurrected those broken houses, one at a time. Telesis, People’s Homesteading, St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center, Harbor Development, AHC, and individual homesteaders trying to hold on to their vision of a home for themselves and their loved ones.
Next year, St. Ambrose will hit the 500 mark – 500 vacant, foreclosed properties turned into lovely family homes, The City has joined with us to make our efforts more visible by tackling the issue of 16,000 vacant properties that overwhelm the efforts of community partners like HUD, MICA, Hopkins and University of Baltimore.
Echoing a quote from an editorial in this morning’s Sun, “….That’s why last week’s announcement by the Rawlings-Blake administration of a major push forward in the Vacants to Value program is like a fresh breeze on a smoggy summer day. It demonstrates that when it comes to the issue of vacant homes, city leaders “get it.” They realize that the piecemeal, glacially slow approach of recent years, whereby a few hundred derelict houses are demolished annually, simply isn’t good enough for a city in a hurry to take its rightful place among the leaders in the nation’s ongoing urban renaissance.” To read more – http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-vacant-houses-20130822,0,5392477.story.
To learn more about the City’s methodical plan to approach this problem, check out their website. http://www.baltimorehousing.org/vacants_to_value.aspx