May 28, 2018
A recent report in the Baltimore Sun pointed out that eight years ago, the city had 16,800 vacant houses. This year there were 16,500 vacant houses.
Why is there no progress? First, different organizations count the number of vacant houses differently. One organization claims there are 40,000 vacant units in Baltimore.
Second, the city has spent millions of dollars to tear down 4,000 houses over the past several years, and to put up some new units. But the number of people who have lost their homes has also been in the thousands, whether by death, disaster, or lack of income.
The new units that have gone up in Baltimore have prices above $300,000. Right now, the median value of houses in Baltimore is $108,000.
It is not really a lack of affordable housing: it is the lack of sufficient income to buy one.
No matter which programs try to bring down the cost of housing, to make money available for mortgages, the real problem is thousands of people with no jobs or with low-wage jobs and a real estate market built for profit.