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By ANTERO PIETILA | January 1, 1994
Life is more complex than newspaper headlines would suggest. Which is why I keep a blow-up of a September 23, 1956, Baltimore American story on my office wall.''$900 Million Plan Proposed To End City Slums By 1976,'' the headline trumpets. ''Would Raze 65,000 Homes.''Eighteen years after that presumed dawn of Brave New Baltimore, slums are getting worse. And not just slums. Abandonment is pockmarking even Baltimore neighborhoods that had been islands of stability. By the city housing department's accounting, Baltimore now has 410 blocks where more than 50 percent of the houses are vacant.
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NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | August 1, 2014
A two-alarm fire broke out in a vacant rowhome in West Baltimore early Friday morning, though no one was reported to be injured. Baltimore fire department spokesman Ian Brennan said the fire was reported around 4 a.m. in the 600 block of N. Carey St. in the Harlem Park neighborhood, with heavy fire showing from the rear of the building when firefighters arrived. The fire also damaged the two adjacent rowhouses, one which was occupied and the other vacant. Brennan said the fire took more than two hours to get under control because firefighters were unable to enter the vacant structures to attack it. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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NEWS
By Eric Siegel and Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF | February 8, 2001
ON SATURDAY morning, the Flag House Courts public housing complex will no longer exist. In not much more time than it takes to read a couple of paragraphs of this column, the three towers on the edge of Little Italy that for decades have housed hundreds of families will collapse into a heap of dust and rubble -- the last of the city's four family high-rise complexes to be toppled under a federal program to replace dilapidated buildings with viable communities....
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | October 1, 2013
Eleven people were displaced from their homes Tuesday night after a vacant rowhouse in Southwest Baltimore partially collapsed, compromising the houses on either side of it. Connor Scott, a spokesman for the city's Office of Emergency Management, said Wilkens Avenue will be closed in both directions between S. Payson Street and S. Monroe Street until about midnight Tuesday while Baltimore Gas and Electric crews shut off gas to the building....
NEWS
By Amanda J. Crawford and Amanda J. Crawford,SUN STAFF | July 9, 2000
In the fourth of six implosions that have begun dramatically altering the face of public housing in Baltimore, the last federally subsidized high-rise project built in the city crumbled yesterday with the help of 400 pounds of explosives. Twenty-story Hollander Ridge fell quickly, like melting concrete, to form a pile of rubble and a thick, brown cloud of dust. Within about 10 seconds of the first detonation at the complex on the city-Baltimore County line, the structure was gone. The implosion drew less fanfare and spectators than others that began the public housing transformation five years ago. On the city's eastern border between Interstate 95 and Pulaski Highway, the 1,000-unit project had been the focus of contention between public officials and residents.
NEWS
June 14, 1997
C WHEN PUBLIC HOUSING laws were passed in 1937, the sites were intended as a "safe, decent and affordable" place for people who hoped some day to afford better. It was not an answer to homelessness and other social problems.It became that catch-all solution over the decades and now, as the program turns 60, many realize what a mistake that was. Some public housing became so unsafe, so indecent that cities, including Baltimore, opted to blow up hundreds of units and start fresh.Plans by Baltimore Housing Commissioner Daniel P. Henson III to revise the preference system for city public housing is in line with the "back to the future" movement on subsidized housing.
BUSINESS
August 27, 1995
Baltimore ranks low in housing affordabilityBaltimore again ranks near the bottom in housing affordability in a survey of 74 major metropolitan areas by E & Y Kenneth Leventhal Real Estate Group of Los Angeles. The region is 57th this year, down one spot from 1994.The study compares what typical midlevel corporate employees are required to shell out of take-home pay for "amenitized housing," a four-bedroom home or luxury two-bedroom rental apartment.This year, the study shows that in more than half of the 74 `D markets it is less expensive to own a home than to rent on an after-tax basis.
NEWS
By Tom Pelton and Tom Pelton,SUN STAFF | January 15, 2003
Michael Sarbanes, former deputy chief of staff for Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, has been named executive director of the Citizens Planning and Housing Association. Sarbanes will start in March as head of the 62-year-old nonprofit group, which aims to find regional solutions to such problems as transportation, housing and drug addiction. "Michael has a stellar academic and public-policy background on a wide range of issues, from public safety to housing," said Al Barry, president of the board of the organization.
NEWS
By Eric Siegel and Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF | November 14, 1995
Baltimore's Housing Authority would need to get federal approval before awarding a contract to redevelop the site of the demolished Lafayette Courts high-rises to a single bidder, a U.S. housing official said yesterday.William F. Tamburrino, director of public housing in Baltimore for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, said he would review any decision to contract to a lone bidder to assure that it was widely publicized, responsive and reasonable."With a single bid, the Housing Authority must request our approval to award" the contract, Mr. Tamburrino said.
NEWS
By Stephen Kiehl and Stephen Kiehl,SUN REPORTER | September 28, 2007
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings called yesterday for a moratorium on the demolition of public housing in Baltimore until "demonstrable progress" is made in constructing homes for low-income residents. In a letter to city Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano, the Democratic congressman said he is "gravely concerned" about plans to demolish housing at 15 sites in Baltimore before redevelopment plans are complete. The demolition is being paid for with money from the city's affordable housing fund.
FEATURES
By Karen Nitkin, For The Baltimore Sun | April 14, 2013
Sarah Holbrook, a senior at McDaniel College, knows first-hand the gratitude for a home-cooked meal during a family crisis. When she was 11, her 9-year-old brother died of leukemia. That's why she's been involved since she was a freshman with Heroes Helping Hopkins, an on-campus group that cooks meals for families at the Believe in Tomorrow Children's House, which provides a place to stay for families with children being treated for serious illnesses at Johns Hopkins hospital. "I understand what they're going through how hard it can be, how exhausting," said Holbrook, co-president of the group.
NEWS
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | February 10, 2013
Fifty Baltimore County firefighters battled a house fire in the Hampton area on Sunday afternoon, the county Fire Marshal's office said. None of the seven family members living in the home were injured, officials said. Firefighters were called to the scene at about 12:40 p.m. and found heavy fire on the second floor of the home in the 1500 block of Providence Road. It took about an hour to get the fire under control, said Bruce Schultz, a captain at the Office of the Fire Marshal, in an email.
NEWS
Jacques Kelly | July 21, 2012
I had a lonely feeling as I walked along the empty, isolated blocks just north of the Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore. In the distance, a bulldozer was eating away at a block of Patterson Park Avenue rowhouses. The emptied lots reminded me of 1950s urban renewal clearance. It's been a full decade since redevelopment was announced for this big chunk of Baltimore: 88 acres bounded by Broadway, Patterson Park Avenue, Madison Street and the Amtrak railway embankment. It's the neighborhood that I often viewed from a train window, a spot that seemed to embody 1940s working-class East Baltimore, when there were abundant jobs at the tin mills, paint factories and garment-making shops.
EXPLORE
April 30, 2012
Among the 63 calls the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department received for medical and fire-rescue service during the period April 22-29 were the following: Illinois Avenue, 3000 block, 11:50 p.m. April 28. Crews from the English Consul, Arbutus, Lansdowne and Violetville volunteer stations and Halethorpe career station responded to the report of a dwelling fire in Baltimore Highlands and extinguished a small stove top fire. Furnace Avenue, 5600 block, 7:56 p.m. April 27. Crews responded to the report of a dwelling fire in Elkridge and assisted local units in extinguishing the fire.
BUSINESS
Jamie Smith Hopkins | March 9, 2012
One in 9 housing units in the Baltimore region sat empty last year, from well-tended homes for sale to boarded-up shells, according to new estimates from the Census Bureau . That's on the high side but not nearly the highest. The agency measured vacancy for the 75 largest metro areas -- not counting vacation properties shuttered in the off-season -- and says the Baltimore region is in a three-way tie with Chicago and Pittsburgh for the 26th worst rate. (It's 11.6 percent, to be exact.)
NEWS
December 30, 2011
The city is misguided if it believes that demolishing vacant homes is the solution to providing affordable housing in Baltimore ("City 'affordable housing' fund destroys more houses than it builds," Dec. 21). Demolishing vacant homes is myopic, since the number of vacant homes will increase as long as the city's population continues to decline. That alone will undermine any alleged improvements to public safety. A 1996 demolition project targeting vacant housing stock in Camden, N.J., initially decreased the vacant housing stock of the city.
NEWS
January 18, 2007
The availability of federally subsidized housing in Baltimore is going to shrink - yet again. City officials say that's the inevitable outcome of the Bush administration's continued draconian underfunding of public housing needs across the country. The city's public housing authority says its federal operating subsidy for this year won't cover its expenses, which are higher because of utility costs. The shortfall means fewer dollars to repair and replenish a compromised housing stock. And people who can least afford market rents will have to fend for themselves.
NEWS
January 7, 2005
On Tuesday, January 4, 2005, CATHERINE L. CRITSER, age 70, at Summerlin Hospital Medical Center. A resident of Las Vegas, Nevada for over 40 years; formerly of Baltimore, MD; a retired Registered Nurse. She is survived by her daughter, Christina Robertson; son, William Scott Critser; stepson, James Darrell Leitner, all of Las Vegas, NV; two sisters, Ruth O'Connor and Katherine Woodall, both of Pasadena, MD; one brother, Kenneth Mc Connell of Baltimore, MD. She is also survived by three grandchildren.
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | December 6, 2011
The vacant brick rowhouse at 2037 Orleans St. looks like many of the 16,000 abandoned homes that beset Baltimore. The front door is covered with plywood. The weedy backyard is strewn with trash. But this empty house stands out in one notable way: It's owned by Police Maj. Melvin T. Russell, commander of the Eastern District - a man who has seen firsthand how blight has damaged East Baltimore and whose job makes him a role model in the community. "I'm an advocate against these people," Russell said Monday, referring to owners of run-down vacants.
FEATURES
By Marie Marciano Gullard, Special to The Baltimore Sun | August 11, 2011
Just as houses come in all different designs and sizes, so do the families that live within them. The large, end-of-group rowhouse in Federal Hill that belongs to the Johnson family shelters multiple generations. "We are three generations of women, a poodle and two goldfish all living in this home that we decided to make 21st century," laughed Gilda Johnson, who lives there with her 94-year-old mother, Carlyn Johnson, and her 16-year-old daughter, Ce Ce Johnson. This family of women own three residential properties and five parcels of commercial property in Federal Hill.
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