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Mayor Young Signs Bill Protecting Vulnerable Residents From Tax Sale

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Baltimore Mayor Jack Young signed a bill into law Monday morning that would protect vulnerable residents from losing their homes to the city’s annual tax sale. The bill was introduced by councilwoman Danielle McCray of Northeast Baltimore. 

Baltimore hosts a tax sale each year to collect debts owed, including houses with debt. 

But McCray’s bill withholds homes from tax sales if their owners are seniors, low-income or have disabilities. 

The bill also creates the position of ombudsman that will help homeowners avoid bankruptcy and connect with legal resources. 

“The best way to protect residents from tax sale is to help ensure that they do not fall behind in the first place,” Young said. 

Young added that the pandemic has made it more difficult for homeowners to avoid tax sale and stressed the importance of keeping residents in their home. 

“The rapid onset of the COVID-19 pandemic also has wreaked havoc on finance of the many homeowners due to job loss and the inability to work,” he said. 

 

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.