The Baltimore City Housing Authority and the Ashland Auction Group are partnering to auction off 30 of the city’s vacant homes. Properties for sale will include single family dwellings as well as row homes with multiple family units, CBS Baltimore reports.
According to city officials, those looking to bid on the homes will need to pre-register, and the winning bidder will be required to make an initial deposit which will be specified in the terms of the purchase agreement. Officials also outlined that multiple bids will be allowed courtesy of a Good Faith Authorization Charge, and this charge is separate from the winning bid, it is merely a hold placed on a bidder’s account.
The fee to participate in the auction will be $2,000 and the vacant homes are from across the city, according to the Ashland Auction Group’s website.
Janet Abrahams, the president and CEO of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, told CBS Baltimore, “The properties selected for auction are located within vibrant neighborhoods known for their sense of community and public amenities. We want individuals to find a property they can convert into a home and join a welcoming community that suits their lifestyle.”
Baltimore has 14,000 vacant homes, which is the fewest number it has had in decades and that number has decreased by 700 over the last year. After a massive fire in January 2022 that claimed the lives of three firefighters, the city launched several initiatives to get the number of vacant lots reduced. The city made a $15 million investment in Clean Corps aimed at fighting its empty home crisis as well as a Tax Sale Exemption program and an Environmental Design pilot program to beautify blighted spaces in the city.
Residents like Deborah Ruffin signaled their approval of the city’s efforts, telling CBS Baltimore, “There’s been a lot of vacants in the city for a very long time, it’s about time they’re doing something.”