Successes and Outcomes: A Look at 2015 and 2016
I wanted to take a moment and update everyone on our progress. As donors, supporters, partners, and friends, I also want to take a moment to say thank you for everything, as none of these successes would have happened without your advice, financial support, and hard work in your communities.
Nuisance and Vacant Properties:
In 2015, 56 properties were brought to the attention of Baltimore Housing, some were put into receivership, some are going through the process now, and some have been demolished or will be demolished, as they were not viable. Only 10 remain with no immediate plan for rehab/sale/demolition. In 2016-2017, we’d like to double the number of properties that are rehabbed/otherwise addressed by Baltimore Housing.
- Four of these properties were bank-owned, and we were able to get the banks to agree to make repairs or compensate residents for damage caused to their homes by neighboring foreclosures. Many thanks to HSBC and CitiMortgage for being receptive to working together.
- Advocacy Efforts:
Because the belief that residents should be advocating for themselves is my top priority, I’d like to expand the series of “How-To” articles on the website, similar to the Rent Escrow and Pre-Lease Signing articles. Giving residents the tools to be their own best advocates is something I believe would best help the city overall. Email requests, both direct and through the websites, rose by 125% over 2015, with more residents needing assistance with landlord/tenant issues and issues pertaining to vacant homes in their communities.
- Technical support requests from residents in other cities who wish to start similar projects rose by 40%.
- Advocacy for affordable moderate-income housing in Baltimore City is another top 2016 priority that carries over from 2015 and 2014, and by mid-2015 there was a strong increase in inquiries from legislators (city and state), small developers, and residents regarding how to implement affordable housing strategies in some of our marginalized communities.
Vacant Property Abatement
This project really started in 2009, with the Slumlord Watch blog and social media campaign. In total, there have been approximately 1300 properties featured on the blog. Recently, I was able to find out from Baltimore Housing what happened to a large percentage of those properties.
Out of the list of properties I sent to Housing, they were able to provide results for 999 of them.
- 82 are currently under permit
- 157 have a Use and Occupancy permit
- 205 have gone through, or are about to go through, the receivership process
That’s a total of 444 properties that are seeing action, which is 34% of all the properties that have been featured on the blog.
Making our communities and our residents has always been, and will continue to be, my number-one priority. I’m proud of the successes we’ve shared, and with more funding (and the ability to grow the project to include more people), together we’ll be able to accomplish even more this year and in the future. Your support is necessary to continue this work, and other projects that will result in a safer, stronger city. Please make a tax-deductible donation today!