BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby on Monday announced a sweeping legislative package that would bring back dollar houses.

The first phase of “House Baltimore” aims to bring back dollar houses for Baltimore’s legacy residents and city workers from disinvested communities, provide grants up to $25,000 to help residents cover emergency fixes, and give seniors facing foreclosure due to predatory reverse mortgages $5,000 grants to help them stay in their homes.

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Mosby’s plan involves a $200 million investment from American Rescue Plan Act, which he is calling on Mayor Brandon Scott to allocate. The mayor has announced $130 million in investments so far from the city’s $641 million share of ARPA funding.

The council president said the plan is designed to reduce the city’s racial wealth gap and help residents buy a house they can afford, and ultimately use the property to create generational wealth.

“The communities that will benefit are the very ones hurt by redlining and modern-day subprime loans, the ones ignored for decades while the city steered money and good fortune away from East and West Baltimore,” Mosby said. “The communities we want to target are the exact same places where the census shows we’ve suffered so much of our population loss.”

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Mosby’s office said the legislative package is arguably the City Council’s “most substantial in modern history.” It will be referred to the the “Committee of the Whole” for an approach in which all council members will have a say in the legislation’s outcome.

The second phase of the legislation includes local rent subsidies, adjustments to the city’s inclusionary housing law, and an expansion of city tax credits for entrepreneurs and those with college loan debt to buy in Baltimore.


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CBS Baltimore Staff