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US city is selling hundreds of vacant homes for just $1 to revitalize struggling neighborhoods – and it’ll even give you money to help with renovations

Baltimore City is selling vacant homes for a dollar apiece to revive struggling neighborhoods.

Currently, more than 13,000 homes in the city sit vacant, often abandoned due to the high rate of violent crime.

The city now has nearly 1,000, in what appears to be a failed attempt to solve the decades-old problem.

However, with the new program passed by Mayor Brandon Scott, individual buyers and community land trusts will now be able to purchase vacant city-owned land for as little as $1.

Smaller nonprofits can also purchase the homes, but for $1,000 each. Developers and large nonprofits can also get a piece of the pie, but would have to pay $3,000. Officials explained the sales program in an official statement.

Baltimore City Sells Vacant Homes for $1 apiece to Revive Distressed Neighborhoods

Currently, more than 13,000 homes in the city sit vacant, often abandoned due to violent crime rates.  The city has nearly 1,000 of them, in what amounts to a failed attempt to solve the decades-old problem.

Currently, more than 13,000 homes in the city sit vacant, often abandoned due to violent crime rates. The city has nearly 1,000 of them, in what amounts to a failed attempt to solve the decades-old problem.

“The Development Division of the Baltimore City Department of Housing strategically acquires and manages vacant or abandoned properties, returning these properties to productive use and improving Baltimore’s neighborhoods.

“The fixed price program will allow certain vacant buildings belonging to the City and certain land belonging to specific typologies of the housing market to be sold at a fixed price.

“Fixed pricing will increase transparency and streamline our disposition process in stressed areas of the city, which are most affected by vacant properties. »

The bulletin then indicates which of the 1,000 city-owned buildings are actually for sale – revealing there are about 200.

Prospective tenants were directed to DHCD’s BuyIntoBmore website, where opportunities are posted and can be claimed. There is a limit of 12 properties per application.

Some have side and back yards, and all are enclosed.

All property sales must be made for residential redevelopment, organizers reiterated – adding that applicants must produce proof of financing for each property rehabilitation.

A minimum of $90,000 in potential assets is required, as the majority of closed homes are substandard.

However, with the new program passed by Mayor Brandon Scott, individual buyers and community land trusts will now be able to purchase vacant city-owned homes for as little as $1.

However, with the new program passed by Mayor Brandon Scott, individual buyers and community land trusts will now be able to purchase vacant city-owned homes for as little as $1.

Smaller nonprofits can also purchase the homes, but for $1,000 each.  Developers and large nonprofits can also get a piece of the pie, but would have to pay $3,000.

Smaller nonprofits can also purchase the homes, but for $1,000 each. Developers and large nonprofits can also get a piece of the pie, but would have to pay $3,000.

Approximately 200 abandoned buildings are for sale and there is a limit of 12 properties per application.

Approximately 200 abandoned buildings are for sale and there is a limit of 12 properties per application.

Some have side and rear yards, and all are boarded up - and all building sales must be us for residential redevelopment.

Some have side and rear yards, and all are boarded up – and all building sales must be us for residential redevelopment.

Applicants’ experience and preparation for potential projects will also be subject to scrutiny, as will their criminal histories.

Applicants must meet these requirements within 12 months of their application or risk losing this opportunity permanently.

For properties sold as residences, municipal officials ask buyers to pay a prorated share of $3,000, calculated based on the year of sale.

To benefit from the $1 opportunity, owners must keep the building as their primary residence for at least five years, after obtaining their occupancy permit, which itself is obtained within 12 months of purchase.

Community land trusts focused on affordable housing will also have access to the $1 fixed price, while other opportunities range from $500 to $3,000.

These include a litany of vacant lots and homes that will be purchased by developers, who will have to meet the same criteria as owners.

That said, the program aims to prioritize buyers over developers, in the hopes that those who purchase the vacant homes or lots will renovate and live in them, although the merits of this logic have been debated. .

Local figures like City Council Speaker Nick Mosby have argued that without specific written protections, residents would not be given priority in purchasing properties, being pushed aside by wealthier developers.

He and others say there’s nothing to stop tenants from being evicted when neighborhoods improve, which is the city’s hope.

“It’s a bad policy because it doesn’t protect or prioritize the rights of people in these communities,” he told the Baltimore Sun.

But the City Council approved the measure March 20 by a 4-1 vote, paving the way for $1 sales.

To entice buyers, the city is offering $50,000 repair grants to those pre-approved for a construction loan, Bloomberg reported — although they will still have to hit the $90,000 mark to prove financing.

Meanwhile, Charm City is making headlines for its crime rate, which is well above the national average.

However, like a ray of sunshine at the start of the year, the city recorded fewer than 300 homicides last year for the first time in nearly a decade, ending a wave that began in 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray , which sparked civil unrest and violence.

However, like a ray of sunshine at the start of the year, the city recorded fewer than 300 homicides last year for the first time in nearly a decade.  Pictured is a crime scene in July 2023 following a shooting that left 28 injured and two dead

However, like a ray of sunshine at the start of the year, the city recorded fewer than 300 homicides last year for the first time in nearly a decade. Pictured is a crime scene in July 2023 following a shooting that left 28 injured and two dead

This ended a wave that began in 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray, which sparked civil unrest and violence.  Police officers in riot gear block a street during a march in honor of Gray, who was killed by a police officer, on April 25, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland

This ended a wave that began in 2015 after the death of Freddie Gray, which sparked civil unrest and violence. Police officers in riot gear block a street during a march in honor of Gray, who was killed by a police officer, on April 25, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland

The riots were seen as part of a broader response to other recent police killings, such as that of Michael Brown in 2014, and resulted in horrific scenes of clashes between protesters and police.

The riots were seen as part of a broader response to other recent police killings, such as that of Michael Brown in 2014, and saw horrific scenes of clashes between protesters and police.

The 20 percent annual decline, which city leaders called the largest on record, suggests that Baltimore’s ongoing anti-violence efforts are paying off, if slowly.

“We are finally seeing these efforts pay off and save lives,” Mayor Brandon Scott said during a July news conference.

Meanwhile, several other cities have also reported a decline in recent months following a pandemic spike, and gun violence, particularly in overgrown vacant neighborhoods like Broadway East, Franklin Square, Gay Street, Penn- North, Rosemont and Shipley Hill, continues.

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