Rise Reclaim Rebuild: Develop Baltimore Without Displacement

For: United Workers
Baltimore, MD
Organizer: Destiny Watford, Greg Sawtell, Mandy Memmel & Rodette Jones
$45,150
of $40,000 goal.
Raised by 442 donors
100% Complete

The Story

Baltimore leads the nation in evictions while at the same time holding 30,000 vacant homes - symptoms of a deep crisis that threatens to paralyze us when we need to act. We are building a 21st century community response to this crisis and invite you to support us as we approach a major breakthrough. The Curtis Bay Community Land Trust is preparing to purchase our very first home to gain control over the land beneath our feet. Our vision is to create quality permanently affordable housing while demonstrating a new model for Development without Displacement for our City to invest in. We need your help to make this breakthrough - join with us to rise, reclaim and rebuild our community! 

Failed Development: Separate and Unequal  
The history of development in Baltimore has been separate and unequal, shaped by policies fueling racial segregation and deindustrializa­tion that disproportionately affected Black house­holds. Since the 1970s, the city has pursued a “trickle down” development policy with millions in public subsidies designed to attract private investors. This created an Inner Harbor speculative real estate boom that also produced homelessness and rising housing costs. Undeterred, the city has continued its focus on developing the “Gold Coast,” and expanding public subsidies to attract private capital. Of the 50 largest cities in the United States, Baltimore has moved to 15th in terms of census tracts that have gentrified.

To date, this development has not “trickled down” to lower­ income residents, whose incomes have not kept pace with rising costs of living, especially hous­ing costs. Low­wage service sector jobs are preva­lent, with sporadic work schedules, few benefits, and lethargic wage growth. Law enforcement efforts have “criminalized” the most acute victims of this econ­omy, Black males, and saddled them with criminal histories that push them to marginal and temporary employment. When combined with all the people currently on disability ­related assistance and dimin­ished federal housing assistance for households with incomes under $25,500 annually, the city’s “trickle down” approach seems destined to force the eviction of thousands of city residents. Currently, almost one third of city households are at risk of homelessness or without housing. Further, tens of thousands of vacants dominate Baltimore’s landscape—the most visible reminder of the failure of the current devel­opment priorities.

A Path Forward: Community + Land + Trust
There is another way. A principled and evi­dence ­based fair development policy that empha­sizes equity and accommodates the increased land and housing costs that successful development pro­duces is possible. Housing models that have proven resistant to speculative pressure, such as Commu­nity Land Trusts (CLTs), exist in other municipali­ties and are developing in Baltimore. These should be subsidized and assisted to at least the same extent that the city has assisted private developers. CLTs outperform other low ­income first time homebuyer programs, energize neighborhoods, retain public subsidies, and provide housing that resists specula­tive pressure.

A 20/20 Vision for a Baltimore that is United not Blighted 
Baltimore is plagued with thousands of vacant properties and homes. But challenges are often opportunities in disguise. Vacant properties pre­sent an ideal opportunity for conversion to CLTs, and CLTs can shepherd the demolishing, greening, or transforming of vacant property into community goods and housing. Developing CLTs through trans­forming vacant property also presents equally ideal employment opportunities to city residents who struggle most with the employment market and who can be trained to do the thousands of jobs needed to transform vacant homes and property. Commu­nity ­driven housing and jobs combined into a sin­gle initiative will increase community wealth and meet human need in marginalized communities in Baltimore.

We are fighting for a 20/20 Vision to advance this new fair development approach: $20 million in city funds annually committed for community ­based jobs to deconstruct and green vacant houses, and $20 million in city funds annually com­mitted for permanently affordable housing. This ini­tiative involves public financing, public assistance with property acquisition, and public support for community infrastructure and planning.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on November 3, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on November 3, 2017

Residents across Baltimore are working everyday to create community driven development without displacement. The call for the 20/20 Vision - a concrete program for action to address our City's vacant housing crisis, our need for good jobs and permanently affordable housing, and our deep desire for dignity in decision making - is growing louder. Evidence for this is clear as more than 20,000 residents petitioned Mayor Pugh to fund 20/20 in the budget this year. Meanwhile, residents in Curtis Bay have raised nearly $30,000 and counting in a grassroots crowdfunding campaign to secure the first Community Land Trust home- thanks to each and every one of you!

As all this hard work continues day in and day out, the question remains - given the sheer scale of the challenge, what does this crisis require from us? 

Today, we bring you James Alston, a community leader in Westport ( a community just a few miles from Curtis Bay) who reflects on this question and shares the promise he sees in the way we are building a solution from the ground up. Listen to James https://vimeo.com/241181568 and then we ask for your support in 2 concrete ways:

#1 ACT! Join us on Wed Nov 8th 11am at City Hall to deliver over 20,000 petitions along with our demand that the 20/20 vision gets funded this year!  http://www.unitedworkers.org/budgetkickoff

#2 DONATE and Spread the word! Support the effort in Curtis Bay to secure our very first community land trust home!

https://www.youcaring.com/unitedworkers-919958

A
s always, thank you so much for your incredible support and belief in our work to act on our positive vision for our community and our City. 

-The Curtis Bay CLT team 

Posted on October 23, 2017

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Posted on October 23, 2017

What does it mean that the grassroots movement for community driven development and permanently affordable housing is growing? What does it mean that over 300 people have already stepped up to contribute over $25,000 towards the goal of raising $35,000 to secure the very first CLT property in Curtis Bay? We wanted to know so we asked people working towards a common vision to reflect and share. We will be debuting a series of short video interviews starting today with Terrel Askew - a resident of Central Baltimore.

"So many things are tied to the belief that change can happen." - Terrel Askew
Click here to watch the interview with Terrel- then share it with your network.
https://vimeo.com/239352369

Posted on October 9, 2017

UpdateImage

Posted on October 9, 2017

Wow! We have already reached and surpassed our goal - thanks to all of you! In less than a month we have raised over $20,000 from an incredible grassroots network to make our vision for community driven development a reality! 

With such strong momentum - let's keep going! Your support will allow the Curtis Bay Community Land Trust reach deeper levels of affordability and sustainability. Stay tuned for more updates, news from the ground and inspiration from the effort to create beautiful and visionary community led development. 

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