Bree Jones walked into a three-story rowhouse in Harlem Park, stepping on bare wooden boards and past exposed joists — the bones of a rebuilt house — and felt proud. It doesn’t look like much now. But a year ago, it was rubble and trash inside a vacant shell. In two months, a couple plans to move into the finished house, helping to repopulate this West Baltimore neighborhood. “It’s a labor of love,” Jones said. “It’s taken everything. Every ounce of my brainpower, my willpower over the last two years.” That’s partly because Jones, who runs the nonprofit development firm Parity, had to do something many municipalities across the country already do for developers: acquiring and bundling vacant properties, a process Jones calls “land banking.”
Baltimore has a vacant housing crisis. Could a land bank help solve it?
February 27, 2023