1.  Everyone who needs affordable housing can get it.  This is critical to building healthy neighborhoods, and a healthy city.

2.  We’d love to see the city reduce its marketing efforts to other states/cities, and spend that money here at home, on the residents who pay the taxes to keep the city going.

3.  Restrict the use of city/state tax credits and other homeownership programs to people who are actually going to live in the homes and become residents of the city.  Yes, we know some restrictions exist, but they’re not being enforced.

4.  Restrict the time limit on renovating an abandoned property.  Buying a property and letting it deteriorate for a year or more does nothing to improve the surrounding community.

5.  We wish the city would realize that it has a largely untapped potential to create wealth in other parts of the city besides Harbor East.  We love Harbor East, but this is a big city, and other communities have just as much potential for growth and sustainability.

6.  Urban renewal plans are critical to the development of marginal communities, yet they’re rarely followed and enforced across the board. Before the city approves business licenses, that comunity’s URP should be consulted and followed, reducing the number of unwelcome businesses.

7.  The penalties for renovating without a permit, and the use of unlicensed contractors should be harsh enough to dissuade speculators from circumventing the law.

8.  Condemned properties should not be re-sold to yet another speculator unless strict regulations are met and followed.  Perhaps they should be torn down and turned into community green spaces.

9.  Every taxpayer should know where his or her money is going, especially money collected for property taxes.  A business wouldn’t continue to throw money at a failing venture, and why should city residents have to do the same?  City residents deserve to see results, and how their hard-earned money is being spent.

10.  Every community has the opportunity to become healthy and economically stable, in a way that is sustainable and meaningful to all of its residents, not just a select few.

8 thoughts to “Our Wishlist for Baltimore

  • PPNA Matt

    #5- The city has a major opportunity to create wealth if they can get the Social Security Admin to build their new National Computer Center here. They can build it on the Boston St site where Ed Hale once dreamed of building a new arena.

    • slumlordwatch

      Or they could build it in the spot where Ray Lewis was going to build his sports & entertainment complex. The Carroll-Camden “Gateway South” project doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of press lately. I wonder what happened to that.

  • Jeff

    I couldn’t agree more with this list. As someone who just purchased a house in washington village, I would love to see the same sort of transformation happening in Harbor East to happen on the West side. I always felt that as soon as you cross MLK, it’s like the City stops.

    Love this blog.

  • Ryan

    #2 is not accurate since ALL marketing money spent towards other states/cities comes from the hotel tax. No city resident is paying for those marketing efforts. Those hotel won’t be full of visitors/convention goers (and that tax revenue wouldn’t exist) unless you continue marketing the city.

    • slumlordwatch

      Maybe we should have clarified — we didn’t mean the tourism ads. We meant the ads that showed up in the DC newspapers, and in the DC metro promoting Baltimore as a cheaper alternative to living in DC.

  • Edit Barry

    Thanks for retweeting this link. I wish real estate development would coincide with major renovation and/or new construction of public school buildings in Baltimore. The school system needs billions of dollars to gets its buildings to 21st century standards. The ACLU has taken up this issue. http://www.aclu.org/organization-news-and-highlights/aclu-report-urges-state-and-city-action-plan-modernize-baltimore-ci

    • slumlordwatch

      There are so many things the City needs to do….the list just gets longer and longer, but nobody seems to have their priorities in order. sigh…

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