Grant sought to replace abandoned homes

July 12, 1996|By John M. Biers | John M. Biers,STATES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke said yesterday he will apply for funding under a new federal program to construct middle- and low-income housing to replace hundreds of abandoned homes slated for demolition.

Schmoke's comments followed a news conference at which Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry G. Cisneros announced a $100 million "Homeownership Zone" program to encourage the middle class to move back to cities.

Up to $10 million will be awarded to as many as 12 cities after a competitive review, Cisneros said.

HUD officials expect to receive hundreds of applications and will determine winners based on a number of factors, including whether applicants are prepared to immediately proceed with projects.

Applications are due Sept. 17 and the agency will make awards shortly thereafter.

Schmoke said he was confident Baltimore would win funding because the city is prepared to use the money. "We're probably ahead of a number of cities in that we're ready to go," he said.

According to Baltimore Housing Department spokesman Zack Germroth, the city is considering two locations for its HUD application, in East Baltimore and at Sandtown-Winchester.

About 800 abandoned homes are in East Baltimore near Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and about 700 vacant properties are in Sandtown-Winchester in West Baltimore. The properties at both sites are slated for demolition.

Germroth said the HUD grant would help Baltimore construct more than 300 low- and middle-income homes in East Baltimore, and more than 500 such homes at Sandtown-Winchester.

Pub Date: 7/12/96

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