PUBLIC LAND IN BALTIMORE IS DISAPPEARING AS OUR PUBLIC SPACES ARE NOW SIMPLY EXTENSIONS OF CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS AND THEIR LANDSCAPING.
WE DON'T NEED PUBLIC HOUSING------WE NEED PEOPLE OWNING THEIR OWN HOMES AS REHABS IN BLIGHTED COMMUNITIES. NO ONE IN THE CITY BENEFITS FROM THE FRAUD AND CORRUPTION IN BALTIMORE'S HOUSING DEVELOPMENT.
WHEN I WATCH AS BALTIMORE JUSTICE LEADERS SUPPORT ANTHONY BROWN OR DOUG GANSLER----KNOWING BOTH ARE THE FACE OF THE INJUSTICE IN BALTIMORE HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT----
We all know that the subprime mortgage fraud was designed to move massive amounts of public money to the top and to place much of the nation's real estate into the hands of the few. We all know trillions of dollars in subprime mortgage fraud occurred and we have received no justice. For those continually saying people bought houses that were too expensive---most people caught in this fraudulent scheme did nothing wrong. The house flippers and working class buying McMansions was rare. The people caught in this fraud were working/middle class people simply taking that second mortgage knowing they would pay it off years down the line. They were couples who bought a house a little more than they could handle with the idea of climbing the income ladder to afford what would be their life's investment. THEY DID THIS BECAUSE THEY DID NOT KNOW MASSIVE FRAUD WAS OCCURRING AND WAS SCHEDULED TO TAKE DOWN THE ECONOMY. So, the average person is not the cause of this housing crisis. Let's look at Baltimore to see how all of this was a long-range plan that said
'TO HECK WITH GENTRIFICATION----WE ARE SIMPLY GOING TO LIE, CHEAT, AND STEAL THIS REAL ESTATE FROM THE CITIZENS OF BALTIMORE AND MARYLAND'.
It is Baltimore Development Corporation run through Johns Hopkins who contrived and enriched themselves on targeted housing fraud. I showed the connection to the AIG spin-off HighStar that allowed all the fraud to occur and then had the US taxpayers pay 100% on the dollar for bets AIG made on loans they knew were fraudulent. Maryland is still seeing huge foreclosures from these frauds as more and more real estate falls back into he hands of the people perpetrating the frauds.
SECOND PHASE OF THE MASSIVE CAPTURE OF WEALTH IN EUROPE AND THE US-----RECONSTRUCTING SOCIETY TO THE NORM OF 99% OF PEOPLE LIVING IN POVERTY.
This is called THE NEW ECONOMY------neo-liberals like to call it THE 21ST CENTURY ECONOMY. It is a continuation of moving all that is public to the top through public private partnerships but it extends to the remaining public property and assets. So, public parks, public gardens, public housing property, government buildings, government facilities are now all being taken private. Know that $1 billion in public school construction connected to the same Wall Street that committed massive fraud and owes billions to the State of Maryland? It is designed to send all those school buildings to private hands----national charter chains-----when the economy crashes and that will happen very soon.
THE SECOND PHASE OF SOCIAL TRANSITION IS PRIVATIZATION OF ALL PUBLIC PROPERTY AS WELL AS SERVICES.
Here in Baltimore that means housing and property is being handed over to connected people for nothing----well, not for nothing. They are being paid for loyalty as this whole takeover happens. This mirrors what US development and military do overseas when they hand a war lord a billion dollars to distribute buying people to work against the interests of the people they serve. SAME THING HAPPENING IN AMERICAN CITIES -----THIRD WORLD FRAUD AND CORRUPTION. Buying loyalty to protect against the majority of people getting mad as heck.
We have an organization that calls for land banks---they are saying this private non-profit is working to help the public keep land that the Baltimore City Hall is handing away as fast as it can. What it is doing is taking what is not privatized and placing it into a Land Trust supposedly for the people in these communities. It is simply going to be held from public use until the powers that be are ready to use it. It's being sold as helping to protect public land while it takes it private in these private Land Trusts. WE ARE UNDER ATTACK BY NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs) that have worked overseas doing the same thing and now they are in the US in the real estate grab of the century. For those that think urban areas and blight need this kind of action consider this----simply using the subprime mortgage fraud settlement of $1 billion would have rehabbed entire communities with more settlement from banks to come. Instead---all this land is being given to the banks. The working class and poor pushed out----are the ones who paid the taxes for decades supporting this city before Johns Hopkins made employment impossible for most in the city through public policy like outsourcing and importing labor from out of state.
THIS IS WHAT JUSTICE FROM MASSIVE FRAUD LOOKS LIKE AND IT KEEPS HOME-OWNERSHIP IN THE HANDS OF WORKING/MIDDLE CLASS.
Instead, these people are being forced out of lifelong communities by landlords that fleeced them and now are charging too much rent and are being allowed to be slum landlords.
Land banking is the practice of aggregating parcels of land for future sale or development.
While in many countries land banking may refer to various private real-estate investment schemes, in the United States it refers to the establishment of quasi-governmental county or municipal authorities purposed with managing an inventory of surplus land.
Blighted Land in Philadelphia Land Banks are quasi-governmental entities created by counties or municipalities to effectively manage and repurpose an inventory of underused, abandoned, or foreclosed property. They are often chartered to have powers that allow them to accomplish these goals in ways that existing government agencies can not. While the land bank "model" has gained broad support and has been implemented in a number of cities, they are implemented differently so as to best address both municipal needs and the state and local legal context in which they were created.
People in Baltimore are being told that consolidating this land into parcels will allow them to maintain control from those predatory government officials sucking huge tracts of land and handing them out in pay-to-play schemes. What you see company store scenarios where people who used to work for a public space now work for these quasi-governmental spaces. IT IS VERY CREEPY PEOPLE. Instead of having a public community garden that stays in public hands and is managed by public employees the people work on land that is not theirs, policy controlled by the private non-profit that is simply making use of the land until future development and in all cases-----the same people making away with all the land now, will be the same people coming back for these Land Trusts later with the people never having title. Imagine if citizens of Baltimore were made the landowners of these gardens and could actually build a business of their own?
WE NEED TO STOP THIS RIDICULOUS INSISTENCE THAT LAND NOT BE OWNED BY EVERYONE. CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT HANDING PARCELS OF PROPERTY IN BLIGHTED NEIGHBORHOODS TO THE PEOPLE LIVING IN THOSE NEIGHBORHOODS-----PERHAPS FARMING IN THE CITY ON THEIR OWN LAND ARE BUILDING A BUSINESS THEY ACTUALLY OWNED?
Land Trusts work to keep people from owning their own land and developing it the way they want to. Look out 4 decades from now when Baltimore development has expanded and that land will be extremely valuable and it will to handed to the same people lying, cheating, and stealing everything in sight.....Baltimore Development, Johns Hopkins, and their crony corporate pols.
Look below how this neo-liberal approach to maximizing profits while keeping your hands on the real estate. They have been doing this in China for these few decades. This is from a Chinese real estate developer.
Neo-Liberalism land market in China, a case study of development of Mo'ganshan District, Shanghai
Neo Liberalismeverything's priced, everything's commodity, no government intervention
sooo…optimize the value of everything? at least two parties r both happy
(they also assume, land market will put the best function in its best-fit location, such as the offices in the middle of the city, then the residential further aways, bcoz location is so important that u need to occupy the most accessible center of the city with the functions generates the most money)
This policy is not democratic----it is not equal protection-----no Bill of Rights----it is not a healthy social structure as we are hearing all across the country. It places most people in the position of never gaining wealth---of always being marginalized and we are talking of 70% of Americans now at poverty and those numbers growing. So, WAKE UP MIDDLE-CLASS-----THIS IS THE FUTURE BEING BUILT FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. You may think its fine for the poor but we are all being made poor as neo-liberalism creates third world !
Richard Roman: Use mortgage settlement money for victims
By / Guest columnist | January 26, 2014
Attorney fees in indigent defense cases prompted the question: "What's the price of justice?"
Unilaterally increasing the fees is not the answer. The Texas Constitution does not empower judges to burden taxpayers with increases in indigent defense expenditures.
Taking money from innocent homeowners victimized by the subprime mortgage crisis to pay for indigent defense is not justice.
El Paso families have been impacted by unexpected medical bills, layoffs and the government shutdown. Many fell behind on their mortgages. Dealing with less-than-compassionate banks was no help. Some banks were guilty of questionable practices.
Recently, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's office settled mortgage lawsuits filed in E1Paso courts. Millions of dollars of relief were obtained for homeowners. Yet in December 2013, Abbott explained how settlement funds were used to fund Texas Indigent Defense Programs. Documents obtained through open records requests verified that foreclosure settlement funds were deposited into the Texas Judiciary Fund.
The U.S. Department of Justice and a group of state attorneys general recently settled with mortgage servicers to assist struggling homeowners.
Last November a $13 billion settlement that JP Morgan Chase reached with government regulators was touted as the "largest settlement with a single entity in American history."
The Los Angeles Times said that of the $13 billion, $7 billion was tax deductible and $4 billion was from a "separate" settlement (the Federal Housing Finance Agency). The remaining $2 billion was for promoting "lending in low-income communities." Eligible borrowers should begin receiving calls in March.
As for Texas, state Sen. Jose Rodriguez recently stated, "In the best of all possible worlds, the state ought to raise taxes to adequately fund civil legal services and indigent defense, but we all know that the state is not willing to do that at this time."
This funding debate is not limited to Texas.
New York Gov. Cuomo is in a dispute with the Working Families Party and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman over who gets $600 million from a foreclosure settlement Schneiderman negotiated with JP Morgan Chase. He argues his office has sole discretion over the money and it should go to homeowners. Cuomo said he and the Legislature should decide.
"This money should go where it's needed most - to underwater homeowners victimized by Wall Street's subprime crisis," said Working Families Party National Director Dan Cantor.
Critics argued that putting it in the state's general fund short-changes those who lost their homes in the mortgage crisis because the funds could be used for any purpose. They said that "similar settlements in the past, including those entered into by Cuomo when he was attorney general, stayed within the AG's office. None were this size, however".
An El Paso task force was created to look at indigent defense issues. Perhaps a task force should be formed to study "innocent" homeowner relief.
There was an unjustified $2 million increase in private reimbursements for indigent defense this year. An additional $500,000 is being sought for the remainder of the fiscal year. County Judge Veronica Escobar said the county will "pull the money from our contingencies if we are forced to do it."
The Council of Judges has been asked to reconsider their vote to raise attorney fees. Attorneys should be fairly compensated for their indigent defense work. However, money secured from mortgage litigation should go where it's needed most - to innocent homeowners victimized by the subprime mortgage crisis, not towards funding indigent defense.
Gov. Cuomo and Attorney General Schneiderman appear to have settled their dispute over how New York will use mortgage settlement funds.
Perhaps Texas and El Paso County can do the same.
What we are seeing outside Baltimore and Maryland is an increase of public space and public gardens. Expanding these designations into blighted areas allows for a feeling by citizens that they are invested in these properties. Add to this dimension the use of subprime mortgage fraud to rehab tons of blighted homes for the people living in the community and VOILA-----YOU HAVE URBAN RENEWAL THAT BRINGS EVERYONE INTO THE PICTURE.
What Baltimore is doing is opposite of this. It is clawing back public space----re-designating public space for these activities as Land Trusts under non-profits or handing them to private individuals who simply sit on the property until they are ready to develop all the while having a community garden with sweat equity having to leave at a moments notice.
THIS IS THE THIRD WORLD-----THIS IS A COMPANY TOWN APPROACH THAT JOHNS HOPKINS PUSHES BECAUSE IT WANTS TO CONTROL ALL LAND AND POLICY IN THE CITY.
Public Harvest: Expanding the use of public land for urban agriculture in San Francisco
Linked by Michael Levenston
SPUR offers 11 recommendations to expand and coordinate the city’s institutional support, increase funding and provide more access to public land.
By SPUR – San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association
April 2012, 36 pages
Excerpt – Executive Summary:
Urban agriculture has captured the imagination of many San Franciscans in recent years. Two dozen gardens and farms have sprouted across the city since 2008, and in 2011 the city changed its zoning code to permit urban agriculture in all neighborhoods. Interest in urban agriculture stems from its numerous benefits. City farming and gardening provides San Franciscans with vibrant greenspaces and recreation, education about fresh food and the effort it takes to produce it, cost savings and ecological benefits for the city, sites that help build community, and a potential source of modest economic development. But the city will not fully capture these benefits unless it responds to the growing interest and energy behind the issue.
The demand for more space to grow food is strong. Surveys since 2005 have consistently demonstrated long waiting lists at many of the city’s community gardens. In most cases, residents must wait more than two years to get access to a plot. The launch of more than 20 new urban agriculture projects in the past four years, some of which are communally managed and involve greater numbers of people than traditional plot-based gardens, is another indication that the current amount of land dedicated to urban agriculture is insufficient.
The challenge ahead is matching residents’ interest with public resources. Private land and private funding alone are not sufficient to meet the demands for urban agriculture space in our dense city. Instead, the city must improve its existing programs and expand the availability of public land, funding and institutional support.
Currently, at least seven city agencies provide monetary support and 11 agencies provide land to city gardeners and farmers. Though well-intentioned, their support is largely uncoordinated, understaffed and, as a result, inefficient. While city funding for urban agriculture has increased during the past five years, it has decreased from a peak a decade earlier and is in the middle range when compared to other large American cities.
For San Francisco to reap the many benefits of urban agriculture, SPUR recommends that the city expand and coordinate its institutional support, increase funding and improve funding efficiency, and provide more access to public land.
This is what we know is happening. The very people committing the frauds are now getting the Federal money to buy and build the land vacated be residents victimized by these mortgage frauds and the economic collapse caused from the massive fraud. We all want development in Baltimore but we want Rule of Law and Equal Protection driving that development.
THIS IS NOT A THIRD WORLD PROPERTY GRAB.
Baltimore has hundreds of millions owed from the postage stamp mortgage settlement and billions more when the rest of justice in these frauds are gained. It has $700 million owed just from the court award for the state underfunding Baltimore City schools which needs to go into this rehabbing process. The Federal and State money sent to Enterprise Zone development that never met the requirement of low-income housing has hundreds of millions of dollars coming to these communities.
THERE IS PLENTY OF MONEY TO HAND HOME-OWNERSHIP TO LARGE NUMBERS OF WORKING CLASS AND POOR IN BALTIMORE. THERE IS PLENTY OF PROPERTY TO BE HANDED TO THESE SAME COMMUNITIES IN PUBLIC PARKS AND GARDENS.
It is to no one's benefit other than the few connected to this massive fraud and corruption in Baltimore City land grab to allow a few to amass control of large parcels of land. Having huge development corporations owning entire communities-----REALLY?????
WAKE UP PEOPLE----THIS IS THIRD WORLD DEVELOPMENT BY PEOPLE ENRICHED FROM THIRD WORLD MASSIVE FRAUD!
The Chicago Reporter / By Angela Caputo 13 COMMENTS
Federal Dollars Help Gentrifying Neighborhoods, Not Most Distressed Communities The federal program designed to help blighted communities recover from the foreclosure crisis, helps gentrifying communities more than those that need financial support.
May 24, 2014 | The following was originally published in The Chicago Reporter.
The house at 4419 N. Kimball doesn’t have much curb appeal. It’s an aluminum-sided, American foursquare on a narrow lot with a patch of grass for a front yard that’s barely big enough for a folding chair.
Two years ago, it sat empty — a casualty of the foreclosure crisis, one of thousands of single-family houses and apartment buildings left vacant across Chicago. But the building’s prospects started looking up in 2011 when it was acquired through the federally-backed Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
Money poured into the Albany Park house. New hardwood floors were hammered into place and granite countertops were installed in the kitchen. The private developer was contracted to rehab the house by a nonprofit organization. That nonprofit was hired by the city to oversee the program. When it hit the market, the three-bed, two-bath home — with stainless-steel appliances, two-car garage, small backyard and a bonus room in the basement — sold for $187,000. And the public was handed a $594,359 bill.
Chicago began receiving program money in 2009, roughly a year after the housing market crashed. In the six years since, the city has collected $169 million — of which $140 million went to rehabbing and demolishing homes. Phil Ashton, an urban planning professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says the federal aid “was never enough money to put a dent in the foreclosure problem.” It was, however, the first big chunk of federal money sent to Chicago to address the vacant properties left in the wake of the foreclosure crisis. And in the city’s poorest neighborhoods, where vacant homes can be bought for the price of a car, the hope was that it would go a long way.
But records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show the city spent money on buildings with luxury finishes in gentrifying areas while distressed properties in some of the city’s hardest hit neighborhoods were left to languish. In their grant proposal to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, city officials pledged to rehab 2,800 units, a combination of apartments, condos and single-family homes. Less than one-third were completed.
Darlene Dugo, a regional vice president for Mercy Housing Portfolio Services, the nonprofit hired by the city to manage the program, chalks up the shortcoming to unforeseen circumstances. “We thought that you’d only need to put in $60,000 per unit but when we got into the properties, we found that they were gut rehabs,” she said.
Gut rehabs that, in many cases, were finished off with “condominium-grade finishes” like stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops, luxuries that Dugo says are standard in some of the neighborhoods her organization was tasked with targeting.
“We want to make sure we’re putting out a product that has sustainability,”Dugo added. “We want to give them the finishes they deserve.”
A tale of two neighborhoods
If ever there was a place in need of foreclosure relief, it’s Roseland, a beat up corner of Chicago’s Far South Side where the owners of tidy, single family homes are losing the battle over blight.
Roseland ranks third in the city for likely vacant residential properties, according to our analysis of foreclosure-related vacancies dating back to 2008. There are nearly 700 empty houses and apartment buildings sprinkled along blocks filled with tiny homes on wide lots. Central Roseland is the hardest hit corner of the community, and no matter how hard neighbors try to maintain a semblance of order — potting plants and manicuring their lawns — their attempts are overshadowed by boarded up houses and weed-strewn lawns.