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Commissioner Graziano Presents Vacants to Value Locally and Nationally

BALTIMORE, MD (May 21, 2014) – Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano has traveled extensively in the last week educating housing leaders across the country on the impact of Vacants to Value in Baltimore. Housing officials across the country consider Vacants to Value an initiative worthy of implementation in their own communities.

"Baltimore Housing has worked hard to be innovative and create a plan that will help us affect real change in Baltimore," said Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano. "We’re proud of the work that we have done to revitalize Baltimore, but we know we have a lot of work left to do and are committed to continuing to make our communities stronger."

Commissioner Graziano joined other housing professionals at the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Annual Healthy Housing, Healthy Places conference in Denver, Colorado on May 16th, where he was featured in the "Breakfast of Housing Champions" roundtable discussion. The roundtable highlighted Vacants to Value’s award-worthy efforts in creating healthy housing opportunities. Commissioner Graziano also lead a panel discussion on housing and responsible reuse. In 2013, Baltimore Housing received ULI’s Terwilliger Center’s Robert C. Larson Award for Workforce Housing for increasing workforce housing opportunities in the Oliver community.

Tonight, Commissioner Graziano will deliver the keynote address at Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.’s (BNI) 55th Anniversary Celebration and Annual Meeting. BNI is a nonprofit that promotes justice in housing throughout Maryland. The agency invokes the spirit of the late developer and visionary James Rouse who was a life-long promoter of housing justice. Tonight’s annual meeting and event will also mark what would have been Rouse’s 100th birthday. Commissioner Graziano will highlight BNI’s invaluable accomplishments and the changing climate of affordable housing over the last 55 years.

Launched in November 2010, Vacants to Value is a market-based approach to encouraging reinvestment in neighborhoods impacted by blighted properties by strengthening code enforcement, promoting rehabilitation, streamlining the sale of vacant City-owned property, and by providing new, targeted incentives for homebuyers and developers who invest in vacant properties. For more information about Vacants to Value, visit www.baltimorehousing.org.

About the Urban Land Institute - The Urban Land Institute provides leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide.

About Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. - Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. promotes justice in housing for all people in the State of Maryland through fair housing and tenant-landlord programs and public information activities.

Commissioner Graziano Presents Vacants to Value Locally and Nationally