DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — One of Baltimore County’s oldest neighborhoods is trying to reinvent itself.

As Mike Schuh reports, they’ll even pay you to move there.

Solid blue collar, built by and for the steel mill. It’s fiercely proud, but Dundalk is a community with a reputation. Just ask Adam Kahlert, a lifelong resident.

Schuh: “What impression do you think people have of Dundalk?”

Kahlert: “Dumb-dalk.”

Schuh: “Why do they say that?”

Kahlert: “Because half the people out here act dumb.”

“There’s guns going off, people fighting and people passing out because being on drugs and stuff. I wish it would get better,” said Karen Anderson.

Poverty doesn’t help. Census figures show that 20 to 35 percent of residents are poor.

Just a mile away, leaders are looking to re-brand Dundalk. Look at the strengths–a strong town center, 43 miles of waterfront and more than 400 new homes, with more on the way.

A meeting kicked off the idea, that in Dundalk, you can live the unexpected.

“We’re embarking on this effort to market Dundalk and re-brand it,” said Amy Menzer, Dundalk Renaissance Corporation.

And to that end, the nonprofit will pay you to move there.

“We are offering these $5,000 incentive grants for people who come and participate in the tour. We have 30 of them to give away,” Menzer said.

By “participate,” she means buy a home. The money comes from the county, but change will come–if it comes–from residents new and old.

“And what we really want to do with this effort is amplify and validate some of the choices that those people have already made and convince more people that Dundalk is worth a look,” Menzer said.

But will it work?

“Yeah. Everybody just needs to push. They can do it,” said Kahlert.

The $5,000 grant money is available this fall for the first 30 new home buyers who qualify.

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