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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Baltimore has more than 16,000 vacant houses. Why can’t the homeless move in?

BALTIMORE — Mark Council knows a thing or two about Baltimore. In his 55 years here, he’s lived numerous lives. He’s been a cook. He’s been a mechanic. And now he’s a homeless person, a position that’s afforded him his closest view yet of a problem that’s eating the city from the inside.

Council, a stocky man with a beard flecked with gray, sees the vacant houses on his way to the homeless shelter. The gutted facades are inescapable, he says, blanketing entire city blocks. He peers up at them and can’t help but feel frustrated.

“I look at all of these vacant houses, and I’m like, ‘I could be living in one of these houses,’ ” Council said. “I think, ‘We all, all the homeless, could be living in one of those houses.’ ”

Council has had enough. So he’s joined Housing Our Neighbors, a group that trumpets an innovative solution used across the country that it says would ensure affordable housing for vulnerable residents. Vacant housing, the group says, presents a “unique opportunity” to turn Baltimore’s blight into a boon. Although the city has historically had difficulty rehabilitating poor neighborhoods and critics question the plan’s feasibility, the group says the urgency couldn’t be greater.

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10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Because they wouldn't even try to improve those buildings...they expect to be cared for. It's sad but true.

Anonymous said...

With the crime rate, the riots, etc., who would want to live on row-house lane?

Anonymous said...

Boy, wouldn't the numbers of "homeless" skyrocket then!

Anonymous said...

6:13 Not every neighborhood in Baltimore is crime ridden or in the ghetto. Home prices in areas like Canton have risen greatly over the past 5 years. Salisbury's prices are still at the bottom. Pretty much the rest of the country has risen to at or above pre-crash levels except this area.

Anonymous said...

1st they want housing handed to them, 2nd they would want power and water, 3rd they would want cable and telephone, 4th AC/heat.....all for free.

Hell, that's what I WANT TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NO!

Anonymous said...

get a job, pay to fix it up, and yes, you could live there

Anonymous said...

No one will buy, or even renovate if given to them, due to the high crime rate where the bum spends his free time (when he's shooting up and not panhandling downtown in the tourist area). Those properties are useless and condemned due to the high crime area, and the likes of the homeless guy that would rather live in a condemned property, without making any contributions to the property, than live in a homeless shelter. Homeless shelters have rules, and homeless drug addicts HATE rules. They would rather live in an abandoned building than a free place with RULES.

Anonymous said...

9:02...Canton was not really effected during the recession. Due to its arts shops and unique eateries the little area has managed to hang on to a reputation of safety. Unless you are black....then you don't want to get caught in Canton after dark. Locals know that.

Anonymous said...

Negative Nellies, all of you. Why shouldn't homeless people move into abandoned empty houses? It would get them off the street, from under bridges, sleeping in cars, etc.

I bet a few would take advantage of their improved circumstances and use it as a springboard to further better themselves. You don't think they have their own little communities amongst themselves? They are all in the same boat and some would even help each other to get out of their bad circumstances.

But right away, you people start painting doom and gloom. They will want free this and free that. Hell, they would just be happy to have a roof over their head.

It sounds more like you are jealous that they might improve themselves and you wouldn't be able to feel so much better about yourselves because they are so beneath you.

Just love kicking someone when they are down don't ya?

Anonymous said...

Because they don't have the money, the units are unlivable, and there's no future in it but failure. Other than that, it's fine.

If they could organize and pool their resources to actually take over and make a building livable and turn on the utilities, then they will have EARNEDt hat. Otherwise, you stay kicked the curb where you really want to be in the first place!

Tough love sucks, don't it?