This week, the Baltimore Sun published an op-ed written by 2018 Community Fellow Shelley Halstead regarding the proposal by The Community Builders, a non-profit development corporation that purchased land in Druid Heights, with the original intention of building mixed-use housing.
Halstead, who is the founder of Black Women Build – Baltimore, an organization that trains black women in carpentry, electrical, and plumbing, recently attended a developers meeting with The Community Builders and discovered that organization’s plans had changed. Instead of replacing the 149 blighted properties the company purchased with 90 “high quality, mixed-income housing,” as originally planned, The Community Builders introduced a plan to create low-income rental housing using Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which would restrict rental rates and land use for 40 years, which would result, as Halstead wrote, in “binding the area in stagnation for a generation to come.”
Ultimately, Halstead maintained, the area needs well-build, safe, affordable housing along with incentives for businesses, which would “help a struggling community gain its socio-economic foothold.”
Read the full op-ed here.
Read more about how Black Women Build-Baltimore is working to not only bring development projects and homeownership to Druid Heights and other communities.
Listen to Halstead talk about her organization on WYPR’s On the Record.