Whole Blocks, Whole City: Reclaiming Vacant Property Throughout Baltimore Briefing

Whole Blocks, Whole City: Reclaiming Vacant Property Throughout Baltimore Briefing

Thursday, May 04, 2023, 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Baltimore has long faced a crisis of vacant and abandoned homes, which makes communities less safe and hurts families’ ability to build wealth through homeownership. The neighborhoods hit hardest by vacancy have seen repeated and intentional disinvestment, created by more than a century of racially discriminatory housing policies and practices in Baltimore. A report last year calculated that vacant houses cost Baltimore City $100 million in lost revenue and $100 million in direct spending annually. 

BUILD is proposing a new approach that looks beyond vacancy and is capable of achieving the health of entire blocks and groups of blocks throughout the city. The approach is outlined in the recent report commissioned by ReBUILD Metro and Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD), and supported by funding from the Abell and Robert W. Deutsch foundations, Whole Blocks, Whole City. This solution builds on existing, community-centered revitalization work that ReBUILD Metro has conducted in the East Side neighborhoods of Oliver, Greenmount West and Johnston Square, which has resulted in increased population and homeownership and lower crime – benefitting existing residents and newcomers alike. The BUILD One Baltimore NOW! campaign aims to catalyze support for scaling this success across the entire city.  

Join Maryland Philanthropy Network’s Community Investment Affinity Group for this briefing and discussion. Participants will: 

  • understand the crisis of vacant and abandoned homes in Baltimore and how it is similar and different from other East Coast Cities 

  • understand the solution outlined in the report, Whole Blocks, Whole City, to partner with community leaders to both eliminate vacancy and stabilize neighboring households, based on lessons from successful Baltimore-based redevelopment efforts and other national models.  

  • discuss the role that funders could play in addressing the issue of vacant homes and neighborhoods impacted by high levels of vacancy and disinvestment. In addition to financial support through grants, loans and investments, these include convening and supporting a coalition and key public-private actions. 

Our speakers will be:  

  • Sean Closkey, President, ReBuild Metro  

  • Regina Hammond, President of Rebuild Johnston Square Neighborhood 

  • Rev. George Hopkins, SOWEBO Community Church and BUILD co-chair 

This program is for Maryland Philanthropy Network members only.