Does Baltimore Need A "Dollar House" Program For The 21st Century? | WYPR

Does Baltimore Need A "Dollar House" Program For The 21st Century?

Nov 1, 2017

Homes on McKean Avenue, Baltimore, 2017
Credit Melissa Archer, MD Dept. of Housing & Community Development

At a packed Baltimore City Council hearing last week, housing advocates and others lent their support to a resolution put forward by Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, which calls on the city to revive the Dollar House program of the 1970s and early 80s:  Back then, the city sold more than 180 abandoned houses for $1 apiece, and helped the buyers with financing and renovation assistance.     

Clarke, a Democrat, has represented the 14th District on the Baltimore City Council since 2004.  From 1987-95, she was president of the City Council, the first woman ever elected to that position.  She ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1995.

Clarke joined Tom today in Studio A. Later, Jay Brodie and Mike Posko joined the conversation.  Brodie was the commissioner of the city’s Housing Department from 1977 to 1984.  After that, he served as the president of the Baltimore Development Corp, the city’s quasi-public economic development arm. He did that for 16 years, serving under four mayors, until his retirement in 2012.  Posko is the CEO of Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake. Over the past 35 years, Habitat has built or renovated more than 700 homes throughout Central Maryland.