Vacant housing in Baltimore is a big problem.
One of the problems facing the Baltimore real estate market today is one of vacancy. There are more than 16,000 vacant houses in Baltimore today, and about 25% of them are owned by the city. Entire streets in the city are lined with vacant rowhouses that serve as a great place for people to squat and do drugs. Obviously crime runs rampant in places like this, so it is a serious threat to the real estate market in the city, and one that Baltimore is taking initiatives to correct.
The Vacants to Value program, started in 2010 under Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is an attempt to rehab and occupy vacant buildings in Baltimore. The program fights blight by helping along the sale of vacant, city-owned properties to owners who wish to rehab them, and fining owners who don’t take care of unlivable properties. The V2V initiative also allows district court judges to auction off absentee owner’s derelict properties and offers incentives to individual homebuyers. In six years, more than 3,000 vacant properties have been rehabbed, and 1,467 city-owned properties have been sold.
The exact number of vacant homes currently sits at 16,730, and most of these properties are likely in violation of the city’s Building and Fire Code, so there is obviously an uphill battle to fight blight in Baltimore.
Still, initiatives like this can only help the Baltimore market rebound and fight the vacancy issue that is greatly contributing to the crime rate in the city overall.via ] [ via ]