In celebrating the second anniversary of the city’s Vacants to Value initiative, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced Baltimore would participate in the Clinton Global Initiative’s Commitment to Action by eliminating 3,000 vacant homes.
On Tuesday, Rawlings-Blake announced the city, as part of the commitment, will demolish 1,500 vacant homes and will rehab 1,500 homes through the Vacants to Value program staring in January 2013, according to a news release.
"President [Bill] Clinton established the Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) to address economic recovery in the United States," Rawlings-Blake said in a news release. "Vacants to Value is now two years old, and we have the momentum to meet this ambitious goal, which will positively affect nearly 18,000 people."
The most visible use of the city’s Vacants to Values program in North Baltimore has been on McCabe Avenue, where the city has demolished some homes and partnered with Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake to restore others.
Members of the Woodbourne-McCabe Community Association and the York Road Partnership have lobbied the city for years to address the vacant homes on McCabe Avenue because they were creating a drag on the surrounding communities.
According to the city the program has already had a huge impact in Baltimore after only two years:
- Property sales have increased fivefold, from 100 in fiscal year 2010 to 524 in fiscal year 2012.
- The City has issued more than 700 citations, at a cost of $900, to vacant building owners who have failed to maintain their properties, spurring more than $23 million in private investment.
- More than 450 vacant properties have been rehabbed or are undergoing rehab.
- The City has sold 90 percent of City-owned properties in community development clusters.
- 117 $10,000 Homeownership Booster Program incentives have been provided; 25 percent of these homeowners are new to the city.
- City wide, 245 vacant and blighted properties have been demolished, and the Power In Dirt initiative handed over more than 700 vacant lots (over 31 acres of land) to non-profits and residents.