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Vacants to Value at Work in Upton

Removal of blight will remove criminal safe havens in Upton

(Baltimore, MD – Thursday, December 5, 2013) Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake and Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano joined community leaders and residents in the Upton community to demolish six vacant properties in the 500 block of Wilson St. The removal of this blight will make the community safer and suppport the businesses on Pennsylvania Avenue.

“The Upton community has long suffered the negative impact that these properties bring,” said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. “Today’s demolition removes six deteriorating and collapsing buildings that have created a shelter for
drug and criminal activity for far too long. Vacants to Value is here to remove blight, strengthen our neighborhoods, and help bring 10,000 families to the City.”

The Pennsylvania Avenue Merchants Association, whose businesses back up to this block of Wilson St. brought their concerns to Baltimore Housing. The agency worked with closely with business owners to determine the best course of action that would help residents feel safe.

Launched in November 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.

"Vacants to Value is our greatest tool in removing blight and encouraging investment in Baltimore," said Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano. “Community members are our partners as we transform our neighborhoods. We want residents to know that by working together we can help make our neighborhoods become safer and stronger."

For more information about Vacants to Value, visit

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