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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[…]

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Justice for Neighbors in Southwest Baltimore

In the course of speaking to community groups in Baltimore, the issue of nuisance properties comes up a lot. Sometimes the complaints are fairly minor — trash, noise, etc., and sometimes the complaints turn into a story of a community being terrorized by the residents of one property, one with an owner or landlord who Read more about Justice for Neighbors in Southwest Baltimore[…]

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Putting Out the Affordable Housing Fire

The Problem Baltimore’s current affordable housing crisis is yet another fire our government has to put out — despite it smoldering for years, turning into a full blaze right around the same time as the housing bubble and subsequent “bust”, leaving thousands in foreclosure and unable to afford steadily rising rents. Many cities are faced Read more about Putting Out the Affordable Housing Fire[…]

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Behind on Your Property Taxes or Water Bill? Don’t Lose Your Home!

It’s that unfortunate time of year again when we have to start thinking about the city’s tax sale and the people who could potentially lose their homes because of an unpaid tax or other municipal lien. The Pro Bono Resource Center is again hosting a series of tax-sale workshops for homeowners who need information about Read more about Behind on Your Property Taxes or Water Bill? Don’t Lose Your Home![…]

Why Policy Matters

Public Policy. It shapes everything we do and dictates what we shouldn’t do. Sometimes it acts in place of common sense, which I find both troubling and puzzling. It can make us stronger, but it can also destroy us. But what is it, really, and how do we go about striking a balance between what Read more about Why Policy Matters[…]

Don’t Lose Your Home to the City’s Tax Sale!

One of the smartest things you can do when you’re in a jam is to reach out and seek help. For those of you who are in danger of losing your home to the annual tax sale, here’s an opportunity to get your questions answered! MVLS and the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland are Read more about Don’t Lose Your Home to the City’s Tax Sale![…]

Are You Past Due on Your Property Taxes or Water Bill?

Don’t let your home go to auction — there is legal help available! The Pro-Bono Resource Center of Maryland, along with MVLS, is holding three community workshops where lawyers will discuss both foreclosure and tax sales. If you’re behind on your water bill or property tax, don’t wait until it’s too late — find out Read more about Are You Past Due on Your Property Taxes or Water Bill?[…]

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[…]

Maryland lead program opens registration for rental properties built before 1978

Currently, Maryland law requires rental properties built before 1950 to be registered with the Maryland Department of the Environment, and comply with risk reduction standards.  As of January 2015, all rental properties built before 1978 will now have to be registered. This change in the law has the potential to greatly reduce the number of Read more about Maryland lead program opens registration for rental properties built before 1978[…]

New Maryland Law: Smoke Alarms

Thanks to the Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS Association for the reminder: As of July 1, 2013, homeowners with battery-powered smoke alarms must update to long-life sealed-in battery smoke alarms. This law applies to homes with alarms more than 10 years old. Additionally, homes will be required to install smoke alarms in all sleeping Read more about New Maryland Law: Smoke Alarms[…]