Vacants to Value Demolition and Rehabilitation Underway in East Baltimore Emerging Markets

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT
Jack French
(443) 248-3786

jack.french@baltimorecity.gov

Mayor Rawlings-Blake outlines new homeownership incentives for buyers of vacant homes, including $10,000 Vacants to Value Booster Program.

Today, Mayor Rawlings-Blake joined Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano, City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young, and community members for a major Vacants to Value demolition and rehabilitation event. Vacants to Value seeks to drive reinvestment neighborhoods by strengthening code enforcement in transitional blocks and emerging markets to promote rehabilitation; streamlining the sale of vacant city property, and, by providing new, targeted incentives for homebuyers and developers who invest in vacant homes.

Rutland Avenue is located in one of the ten major Vacants to Value emerging markets on the east side. Today's demolition of six vacant properties on the 1700 block of Rutland Avenue is part of and overall plan to demolish 49 properties in the immediate area. The City’s demolition of these properties will rid the community of blight and strengthen $5 million of private investment already underway in this community. The 1800 block of Rutland Avenue has recently been invigorated with 13 beautiful rehabilitated homes with five more underway. Within this footprint 104 out of a total of 298 properties were vacant and boarded when Mayor Rawlings-Blake announced the hard launch of Vacants to Value in November 2010.

The Vacants to Value program will deploy expert code enforcement attorneys to facilitate investment in emerging markets near areas of strength. “Emerging markets are areas where smaller private and nonprofit developers believe they can make a difference.” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said. “The City will work in partnership with committed and capitalized developers to leverage reinvestment, block by block, without major taxpayer subsidies. Our role in City Government is to do everything we can to spur growth and reinvestment.”

During the event, Mayor Rawlings-Blake outlined new Vacants to Value Homeownership incentives. As of July 1, 2011, the new Vacants to Value Booster Program will offer $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to the first 50 buyers of qualified Vacants to Value properties. The Mayor also noted that all City employees are now eligible for the $5,000 Good Neighbors Vacants to Value Homeownership incentive that can be used in conjunction with the $10,000 Booster Program.

“Where developers have the means to rehabilitate every vacant house on a strategically selected block, they can effectively restart a housing market,” said Commissioner Graziano. “Through our new public/private partnership we will drive the number of vacant buildings to zero in this footprint.”

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