Many thanks to our Facebook friends for the reminder — this is the blog’s third anniversary! This started as something we thought would be a one-shot blog, and evolved into a community of fantastic readers, commenters, submitters, and everyone in between.
Unfortunately, Baltimore City’s housing situation hasn’t changed much — some of the properties featured here in the blog have been rehabbed, which is great. But so many of them remain vacant, the owners simply refuse to fix the problems.
Our most popular posts have been ones where the solution seems simple, on the outset:
- A commanding officer in the police department owns a run-down vacant — why hasn’t this been fixed up? He’s in a position of authority and respect — he needs to do the right thing.
- Howard Street remains blighted and vacant — businesses and residents moved out years ago, yet the City would rather hand the buildings over to out of town developers and others who won’t do anything with them. Why can’t these buildings be made available to artists and small businesses owners who are looking for live/work properties? It would improve the neighborhood, and generate tax revenue.
- Our Wishlist for Baltimore offered ideas and opportunities for conversation — yet the ideas generated by residents and community members have continually been ignored by the City.
I think the saddest post for me as the founder and editor was the one that brought attention to the living conditions of an elderly woman and a couple of children who visited from time to time. The landlord did nothing to ensure the safety and well-being of the tenant, who was forced to move in order to escape abuse and theft. I can honestly say that post kept me awake at night, and I still think about it. I’ll never understand the cruelty we can inflict on each other, in the name of money and greed.
My wish and most sincere hope for the next year is to see solid, sustainable changes in this city — and I can’t do this by myself. I need our elected officials to take a step back and look at this city as an outsider would. I need our elected officials to make a pledge to the taxpayers, and promise the problems we’ve discussed for the past three years will be given more attention — and solutions will be developed and implemented. Baltimore’s housing market is in the tank, and if this city is truly concerned about generating more tax revenue, our elected officials need to stop talking, and start listening — listen to your constituents. Let us help you make this city better, stronger, and put this city on a path to success. Car races, new convention centers, and more programs that are old programs rehashed don’t make cities better. Taxpayers make cities better, and Baltimore needs to start listening to its taxpayers. Help us help you to be the great city it can be.
And it starts with housing.
Thank you all for a great three years, and I hope for an even better three years, and many more after that.