Link Roundup

Home ownership rates fell to an 18-year low, according to a report issued by the US Census Bureau on Thursday.

Banks are retreating from low-income neighborhoods, especially those hit hard by predatory lending.

Should landlords be allowed to discriminate against Section 8 voucher holders?  (Or conversely, should landlords be able to run “Section 8 Only” ads, thereby discriminating against those who work?)

To buy, or not to buy…the renter’s dilemma.

A two-alarm fire wiped out two homes in Baltimore — there have been lots of fires on the west side recently, hopefully BCFD Chief Clack is paying attention and realizes his plan to move a company to the east side would be unwise.

The Community Law Center is suing Scott Wizig, a large-scale slumlord who owns many of our city’s blighted homes.  Nice to see other people are finally getting on board with running some of these folks out of town.

Should we continue to pour our tax dollars into the Inner Harbor and Harbor East?  This letter-writer to the Sun says no.

Five years after a Philly woman lost her home to deed thieves, she finally gets the house back.

Can a neighborhood overcome its past?  One neighborhood in Chicago has, despite its chilling origins.

 

4 comments

  1. Dan

    It definitely seems like more and more people are moving out of the city. A lot of oyung folks still live there, but the older population seems to be moving to places like Columbia, Ellicott City, Towson and other suburban hubs.

    Do the statistics back this up?

    • Baltimore Slumlord Watch

      I don’t know the ages of the people who have moved, but I do know the city is growing younger…so I think you might be onto something.

  2. Parag Khandhar (@ParagCED)

    Many Section 8 voucher holders work. Section 8 is a rental subsidy, but it does not always subsidize the entire rent, nor does it pay for any other living expenses. There are significant issues with ensuring that landlords do not discriminate against voucher holders, and equally compelling concerns regarding landlords upholding their responsibilities (even though as recipients of federal funds, they *should* be held to higher standards than private landlords) once folks become tenants.

    http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/topics/housing_choice_voucher_program_section_8

    • Baltimore Slumlord Watch

      I have a few concerns about voucher programs — and none of those concerns are centered around the tenants.

      1. I don’t know if this is true for all cities, but because HUD calculates their “market rent” on the MSA and not individual cities/towns or neighborhoods, the rents are higher than perhaps they should be, and therefore artificially inflate rent rates for non-voucher holders.

      2. Our local housing authority seems to not enforce all of the rules for voucher holders, which then leads to friction between those tenants and non-subsidized tenants/homeowners, especially in neighborhoods that are unstable.

      3. While I understand the point of housing choice — to be able to move out of poverty/crime-filled neighborhoods, I’ve read several studies lately that show a lot of voucher holders in fact stay in these neighborhoods. Not because they particularly like crime, trash, and poverty — but because their support systems are in those neighborhoods (friends, family, daycare, transit, etc) and not in the “better” neighborhoods.

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