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"Whole Blocks, Whole City": BUILD's report on city's vacants

Baltimore City estimates there are about 15,000 vacant and deteriorating residential properties within city limits. Decades in the making, the problem has been a perpetual dilemma for city agencies and community organizations. But new public and private initiatives are underway to find a solution. (WYPR photo)

BUILD — the acronym for the influential community action organization known as Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development — has published a report that proposes new ways to change the trajectory of our city, which is losing population quickly, and whose huge stock of vacant houses remains a fundamental problem.

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BUILD's new report on how to fix Baltimore's vacants problem is available online.

The actual number of vacant houses in Baltimore City is difficult to quantify, but many estimates put it at around 15,000 properties. Over the past 20-plus years, Baltimore has lost nearly that many homeowners, including 5,000 Black homeowners.

What will stem the tide of people leaving our city, and what can be done to refurbish or remove the blighted properties that enshrine poverty in some of our most economically disadvantaged communities?

Tom Hall's guests today will discuss BUILD's comprehensive strategy to address these challenges. Their strategy is not inexpensive. But it’s a moral and economic imperative that these problems be solved, and the report that BUILD has issued reflects a deep understanding of what the problems are, and how they can best be addressed. It’s called Whole Blocks, Whole City: Reclaiming Vacant Property Throughout Baltimore

The Rev. George Hopkins is aclergy co-chair of BUILD.

Rev. Andrew Connors is the pastor of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church and a member of the BUILD strategy team.

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BUILD members at a public briefing last week on "Whole Blocks, Whole City," the group's new report on fixing Baltimore's vacants problem: The Rev. Andrew Connors (left)is pastor of the Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, and a member of the BUILD Strategy Team; The Rev. George Hopkins is a clergy co-chair with BUILD. (courtesy photos)

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