BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Some of the state money pledged to help the city after the riots is being used to get more people to buy homes downtown.
As WJZ’s Mike Schuh reports, help comes in the form of assistance with a down payment.READ MORE: Who Was Halyna Hutchins? Tributes Paid To Director Of Photography Killed By Prop Gun
It was feared that images from April’s unrest would lead to fewer people wanting to invest in Baltimore — fewer people who would want to live in a city with such problems.
But so far, it’s just not the case.
“I haven’t seen a change,” said real estate agent Annie Stone.
Stone’s observations are backed up by sales reports.
After the riots, home sales, prices and the number of homes available are all up.
The city and state announced a plan, called the “Maryland Grand Slam,” to keep it that way.
“A strong housing market equates to a strong economy,” Assistant Secretary of Maryland Housing Tiffany Robinson said.READ MORE: Two Baltimore Men, 20 and 22, Charged With Murder In Double Homicide
To get signed contracts in the city, the state is kicking in $2 million. The city will add another $1 million.
About $7,500 will add to a down payment. There are also federal tax credits, loan discounts and the waiver of fees.
“We want to get people to take a fresh look at some of our neighborhoods. And incentives have been proven, in Baltimore and in other places, to be that fresh look that people need to close the deal,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.
Having had clients use lesser incentive, Stone says such money is often just what’s needed to close a deal.
“So is that going to motivate someone who’s already dead set on the county? No. Of course not,” she said. “But someone who’s on the fence, wants to figure out how to stay in Baltimore, wants to make it work — every little bit helps, of course.”
“This will set new records in home ownership incentive program assistance in Baltimore City with the state’s help,” said Ken Strong, assistant city housing commissioner.
While the overall plan has been announced, the final details are still being worked out. An announcement should be coming soon.MORE NEWS: Amtrak & Maryland's Leaders Break Ground On Penn Station Transformation
Officials hope to start getting money into the hands of home buyers by the end of the year.