The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently issued a report on investor activity in Atlanta. Not surprisingly, the study found that investors were buying up property in neighborhoods where poverty and vacancy rates were high, and median home values were low.
A group of Montgomery County legislators have introduced a bill that has the slumlord lobby up in arms — the bill proposes Maryland property owners who own four or more rental units should be subject to rent control. It also mandates that landlords cannot force tenants to make them the beneficiary of renters’ insurance policies. These two things are definitely worth supporting. Unfortunately, the bill is a bit of a mishmash, with other landlord-tenant issues thrown in — not sure where it will end up.
Some New York City landlords have found a way to make money off the homeless, by operating for-profit SROs/rooming houses — and needless to say, the living conditions are less than acceptable.
I’ve always been fascinated with Centralia, PA — a mostly-abandoned town situated on top of a coal fire that’s been burning for decades. WGAL has a “then and now” slideshow that’s worth a look.
How to be successful in Maryland politics: Give your campaign contributors lucrative development contracts. Just don’t get caught…
CBS Baltimore reports that a recent house fire, in which one woman was found dead in the basement, was more than just a simple house fire.
So now the Mayor wants you to pay for trash pickup? I thought property taxes paid for that, but…perhaps I was wrong. Oh, and the City is dicking around with the Fire Department again. It’s all about solving the budget crisis, I guess so we’ll have more money to give to local developers.
Speaking of the budget, how would you balance our completely out of whack budget? There’s a website for that.
The Mayor has announced the 2013 preliminary budget for Baltimore City — one of the highlighted items is the closure of three yet-to-be-announced firehouses. You can, and should, download and read the budget for yourself here.
If the City has the money for large developer tax breaks, car races that cost city taxpayers millions of dollars, and a new convention center — the City needs to fully fund our fire department, keeping all fire stations open and operational, and end the rotating closures.
Please contact your City Council representative today, and make your opinion heard! We cannot afford more senseless deaths like this one. How many innocent children have to die before we’re willing to stand up to our government and say “Enough is ENOUGH”?
Some national statistics from the NFPA:
- A fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds.
- One structure fire was reported every 65 seconds.
- One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds
- One civilian fire injury was reported every 30 minutes.
- One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 49 minutes.
Think how much worse it would be if fire stations were closed. I don’t want to read about your home or your family in the Baltimore Sun. Contact your City Council representative and let them know you don’t want to be a statistic — we don’t need a new convention center more than we need you as residents.