At Heated Meeting, Mortgage Provider Offers Vision For Baltimore’s $1 Houses, Which Critics Call ‘Nonsense’

Baltimore City leaders Tuesday night brought forth legislation aimed to cut down on the sheer number of vacant homes in the city. Council President Nick Mosby’s proposal includes a revival of the Dollar House program, in which vacant city-owned homes are sold for one dollar.

Under Mosby’s proposal, Baltimore’s legacy residents, those who have lived in Baltimore for more than a decade, would be eligible for the Dollar House program. Recipients of the program would receive a $50,000 grant from the city for renovations under a repair grant bill, and the nonprofit would provide a low-interest loan to pay the mortgage.

“It would require massive renovations, these are primarily shells and they are surrounded by other vacants, so the concern that we’ve had is that if you put, lets say $150,000 to $200,000 into renovating one of these things it might be worth, I don’t know, $80,000 to $100,000 which would mean you would be underwater,” Cohen said.