NPR Reports on Baltimore’s Vacants to Value

Joe Schilling was recently interviewed by the Baltimore NPR-affiliate on the City’s Vacants to Value program. The program, established November 2010 by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, is focused on selling vacant properties within specific transitioning neighborhoods. Currently, Baltimore has an estimated 16,000 vacant properties, 10,000 of which are in need of demolition. For the remainder of these properties
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Mounting Costs of Demolition

Demolition of vacant and abandoned housing is a topic of growing importance, especially for legacy cities in the industrial heartland.  In some cities the controversy is over whether to mount a major demolition program, while in others the question is how to get more resources to accelerate demolition efforts. In Alan Mallach’s new report published
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Good News From A Servicer

If you haven’t seen the Shelterforce interview with Ocwen CEO, Ron Faris, see it here. Faris looked early at what was happening to loan collateral on streets and in neighborhoods in 2004 and attributes Ocwen’s early progressive approach to loan modification, including principal reduction, to a recognition of realities on the ground.  True, the GSEs
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REO to Rental — A Good Idea?

Professionals in neighborhood development organizations, code enforcement and eviction courts have unhesitatingly panned the concept of putting vacant REO housing into the hands of national corporate landlords.  The main beneficiaries of this may be civil rights and tenant rights attorneys in states where they can get fees from landlords in litigation. The enthusiasm for the
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Vacant Properties: Design solutions & the housing crisis

Gang and Lindsay’s recent opinion piece in the New York Times, offers a glimpse into what might become more common place in suburbia’s ever growing more diverse and immigrant filled communities. Often single family houses present a mismatch between cost and needed size over lifetime of family as it changes. They suggest instead of insisting this mismatch a
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