Dollar houses have become a sort of urban lore in Baltimore. The fabled William Donald Schaefer-era program breathed new life into neighborhoods like Barre Circle and Otterbein, and most people in Baltimore have heard about someone’s mother or aunt or cousin who was able to grab hold of a piece of the American Dream for just $1 if they promised to fix up a vacant and falling down house. Community members still ask: Can we bring back dollar houses? And over the years, elected officials and candidates for office have opined about the possibility of handing over the keys to vacant, city-owned properties to regular folks, so they can fix them up and live in them and revitalize neighborhoods house by house by house.
Mosby: Bringing back — and building on — Baltimore’s dollar house program
November 16, 2021