Slum Or Affordable Housing Resource? Two Lenses View An Inner City

Baltimore Row Houses photo by Bob Jagendorf is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
Baltimore row houses, some vacant

More and more growing cities are facing an affordable housing crisis brought on by gentrification — accommodating their population expansion by renovating or replacing poorer quality urban houses. The result: new upscale neighbourhoods that are a source of city pride, but are plagued by rapidly rising housing prices that even young professionals may be unable to afford.

And what of cities where the population is shrinking, such as Baltimore, Maryland? They might be viewed as unlucky casualties of an urban renewal boom, with streets of partly, or entirely, derelict housing and no upscale gentry with open wallets to save the day.

This gloomy vision can be turned on its head by considering decaying neighbourhoods not as an eyesore and a burden, but  as a resource. Thanks to a declining city population, Baltimore sits on a veritable mine of affordable housing, as well as a unique employment opportunity for the community.

Read more in the Baltimore Sun: Tenants, Advocates Call For Affordable Housing Fund, Jobs Deconstructing Vacants