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Mayor Rawlings-Blake Continues to Knock Out Blight in Darley Park

The community gets a much-needed demolition to stabilize neighborhood

BALTIMORE, MD (FEBRUARY 12, 2013)—Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano joined Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, community leaders, and Darley Park residents to celebrate a Vacants to Value demolition of the 1600 block of Normal Avenue. Baltimore Housing worked with community leaders to tear down this long-blighted block, and begin to stabilize the otherwise solid community.

“We are proud to stand with members of the Darley Park community to witness the removal of this blight, and take the first steps toward revitalizing this neighborhood,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Today's demolition is an example of how Vacants to Value is working to bring change and growth to neighborhoods that need it most.”

Normal Avenue, located off of Harford Road, has been negatively impacted by the overwhelming presence of blighted properties. Today's demolition will enhance the value of homeowners' properties, increase public safety, and support the rehabilitation of vacant properties in the area.

“Darley Park, like many of our smaller neighborhoods, was severely hindered from being a thriving community as a result of blight,” said Commissioner Graziano. “By demolishing these properties, we are taking steps toward this community’s greatest chapter yet.”

Launched in November of 2010, Mayor Rawlings-Blake's Vacants to Value initiative seeks to encourage reinvestment in neighborhoods impacted by blighted properties by strengthening code enforcement, promoting rehabilitation, streamlining the sale of vacant city property, and by providing new, targeted incentives for homebuyers and developers who invest in vacant properties.

Since its launch, Vacants to Value has produced impressive results:

• Property sales have increased fivefold, from 100 in fiscal year 2010 to 524 in
fiscal year 2012. (unchanged)
• The City has issued more than 900 citations, at a cost of $900, to vacant
building owners who have failed to maintain their properties, spurring more
than $47 million in private investment.
• More than 950 vacant properties have been rehabbed or are undergoing rehab.
• The City has sold 90% of City-owned properties in community development
clusters.
• 140 $10,000 Homeownership Booster Program incentives have been provided;
28% of these homeowners are new to the city.
• City wide, 245 vacant and blighted properties have been demolished, and the
Power in Dirt initiative has handed over more than 700 vacant lots (over 31
acres of land) to nonprofits and residents.

For more information about Vacants to Value, visit www.baltimorehousing.org.

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