On Monday, November 15th, Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby proposed renewing a popular initiative making houses in historically redlined neighborhoods available for $1. Eligible homes would be accompanied by $25,000 in repair grants.
Under Baltimore City Council Bill #21-0172, the initiative is entitled the “Baltimore City Urban Homesteading Program.” According to The Baltimore Sun, the program would be funded, in part, through the American Rescue Plan Act- of which, Council President Mosby said:
“We can’t spend this money. We must invest this money,” Mosby said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to responsibly invest and grow in our communities in a way we can’t do otherwise.”
Council President Mosby has provided an in-depth FAQ on the Baltimore City Council website explaining the mechanics of the program:
This is a program that allows eligible Baltimore City residents to lease homes from the City for just $1 per year. Available homes are placed on a property registry. Within 6 months of leasing the property, program participants must begin necessary repairs, as well as make the property their principal residence. At the end of the 2-year lease term, ownership of the property will be transferred from the City to the program participant, provided that the participant met all lease requirements. This program thus creates an incredibly affordable pathway to homeownership for long-term City residents.