Vacants to Value

State lawmaker suggests rehab of vacant homes

Feb 10, 2016
Rachel Baye

Gov. Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake introduced a plan in early January to demolish thousands of vacant row homes across the city.

But Del. Keith Haynes has a different proposal. The Baltimore Democrat says that while some vacant homes should be torn down, others may still have life left in them. 

Governor begins tearing down city's vacant homes

Jan 5, 2016
Rachel Baye

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and a large construction vehicle flanked Gov. Larry Hogan in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood on Tuesday afternoon as he announced a $94-million plan to tear down thousands of vacant homes in the city over the next four years.

And the plan took effect immediately, with the destruction of a boarded-up house on the 1000 block of North Stricker Street shortly after the officials finished speaking.

It Is Easy To Be Green

Dec 9, 2014
Baltimore Housing

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s Vacants to Value Initiative aims to reduce the blight of vacant houses in the city by giving people incentives to buy them and fix them up.  The houses that can’t be fixed are demolished, leaving gaping empty lots.

City officials are trying to beautify those lots  by offering incentives to community groups and others to turn them into “green spaces.”

Green Ideas For Green Spaces

Vacants to Value: Still Growing After All Three Years

Nov 12, 2013
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Three years ago, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake gave Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano a directive. 

Is Demolition Best For Baltimore?

Sep 30, 2013
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Some advocacy groups are questioning why Baltimore City officials are spending their entire share of the attorney general’s mortgage settlement on demolishing vacant, blighted properties.

Baltimore Begins New Round of Demolitions

Sep 24, 2013
P. Kenneth Butns / WYPR

Baltimore officials joined community leaders Tuesday to demolish six blighted properties in the 1600 block of Lansing Avenue in the Oliver neighborhood of East Baltimore.  The demolition is the first since the Board of Estimates approved spending $10 million from the national mortgage settlement fund for demolition projects. 

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said knocking down the vacant houses is part of her strategy to attract 10,000 families to the city over the next decade.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Other cities in Maryland and across the country are looking to Baltimore for ideas on how to deal with vacant properties.  The one method that has caught their attention is receivership; one of the tools of the “Vacants to Value” program started by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in November 2010.

Vacant Opportunities: Are They Missed?

Jun 17, 2013
P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Vacant houses are all but an official symbol of Baltimore.  Block, after block of empty dwellings; many are barely able to stand on their own.