Baltimore Receives $10 Million Funding Allocation for Vacants to Value

BALTIMORE, Md. (September 18, 2013)—Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake and Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano announced the Board of Estimates’ approval of a $10 million funding allocation from this year’s Mortgage Servicers Settlement. In February of this year, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, along with 48 other attorneys general, entered into a settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers, following an extensive investigation into foreclosure abuses, fraud, and unacceptable mortgage servicing practices such as "robo-signing." The settlement provides monetary benefits to distressed Maryland borrowers, imposes standards for mortgage servicing processes, and provides funds to the State of Maryland for housing-related services and activities. “Today’s approval will help rebuild some of the communities that were exploited during the height of the housing bubble,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “These funds will go a long way toward our goal of bringing 10,000 families to Baltimore. It will help strengthen neighborhoods, remove blight, and encourage homeownership in the city.” “Since Baltimore was disproportionately impacted by the national mortgage crisis, I believed it was important that a portion of settlement funds be set aside to advance the City’s housing initiatives,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Using this money to rebuild run-down communities will benefit current homeowners through increased property values and provide future borrowers with more affordable and desirable housing options.” The funds will further the efforts of Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s Vacants to Value program by helping to:

  • Acquire and demolish blighted properties.
  • Relocate homeowners and renters from properties that will be demolished.
  • Develop plans for sites where blighted properties have been demolished.
  • Assist home buyers to acquire homes by providing down payment assistance.

As part of her ten-year financial plan, Change to Grow, Mayor Rawlings-Blake announced a number of strategies that will help grow Baltimore by 10,000 families over the next decade. One of those strategies is a commitment to demolish 4,000 vacant and blighted buildings over the next ten years. With this funding surge, Baltimore Housing will push forward on that commitment. Demolition is a key component of Vacants to Value, and Baltimore Housing has targeted approximately 500 blighted structures to be demolished with these newly allocated funds. Due to the connected nature of the rowhouses in Baltimore’s housing stock, otherwise vacant blocks may often have one or two remaining occupants. Baltimore Housing will work to relocate these households in accordance with the Federal Uniform Relocation Act. $9.25 million from the settlement funds will be used to demolish vacant, blighted, or abandoned housing and relocate owners and tenants, when necessary. The City will direct the remaining $750,000 to the Vacants to Value Homebuyer’s Assistance Program for the purchase of previously vacant rehabbed properties. For more information about Vacants to Value, visit

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