City aims to strengthen middle-class neighborhoods

Program to include loans, strict code enforcement

April 05, 2002|By Jamie Stiehm | Jamie Stiehm,SUN STAFF

City officials will unveil a new program this month that will try to strengthen middle-class neighborhoods, Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano told a community meeting of Northeast Baltimore residents last night.

Addressing a forum at Morgan State University's Schaefer Hall, Graziano said the Neighborhood Conservation Program will use such strategies as stricter code enforcement, low-interest rehabilitation loans and marketing for Baltimore's middle-class neighborhoods and their housing stock. The program is designed to target abandoned houses in Baltimore's outer-ring neighborhoods, areas composed largely of single-family homes.

The Neighborhood Conservation Program is designed to address early signs of decay, such as abandoned homes, in otherwise stable, middle-class neighborhoods.

The program will be funded with a grant from the Abell Foundation.

Last night's forum, organized by 3rd District Councilman Kenneth N. Harris Sr., was an opportunity for Northeast Baltimore residents to ask questions of city officials. About 50 people attended.

Yesterday's exchange was the first chance for most community members to meet two recently appointed district commanders, Capt. Gary D'Addario of the Northeastern District and Maj. Scott Williams of the Northern District.

D'Addario, a 36-year veteran of the force, took over the Northeastern District after the retirement last month of Maj. Donald E. Healy. Healy retired after a memo he'd written in February came to light, in which he urged officers to stop "every black male" at a bus stop were a rape had occurred. There has been no arrest in that case, D'Addario said.

D'Addario said he had come from the Western District and plans to implement a crime-fighting technique that worked well there. The mini-initiative, as he called it, involves deploying several officers for two or three hours in a small, specific area.

"It's a key to lowering crime and improving your quality of life," he said.

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