Baltimore System Provides Instant Info on Vacant Homes

The town put a QR Code on the front of just about every vacant home. Realtors, neighbors and curious onlookers can rapidly discover out who owns the residence by way of their cellphone.

BALTIMORE, Maryland – Hundreds of QR codes have appeared on boarded-up houses in the course of Baltimore in excess of the earlier thirty day period, as section of a metropolis effort and hard work to assist citizens searching for info on vacant homes.

Previous year, the Baltimore Town Council moved to have to have housing officers to spot indicators on the city’s approximately 15,600 vacant attributes, about 1,350 of which are town-owned, advertising how neighbors can obtain facts about each one particular.

When scanned, a QR code on the signs directs people to a preexisting Division of Housing and Neighborhood Advancement webpage, wherever they can research for ownership information and facts and other documents. The indications also direct residents to phone 410-396-0896 to obtain the data, or dial 311 if the assets desires to be cleaned or boarded.

The symptoms could be a boon for activists eager to advise communities about vacant houses, and for neighbors searching for get in touch with info for proprietors when difficulties come up. But achieving proprietors can prove difficult, and that’s just the first action in a long procedure aimed at minimizing blighted house.

As of June 29, metropolis officers had put the signals on 655 vacant attributes, claimed Tammy Hawley, spokeswoman for the city’s housing department. Code enforcers have been placing symptoms on the related houses although producing their rounds, Hawley said. Initially, the monthly bill identified as for residence house owners to place the signals by themselves or face every day fines. But officials cited logistical challenges with that necessity.

The section is hopeful the indications will elevate awareness among city people about the issues of tackling vacancies and blight.

“We feel that this can help everyone recognize what we’re up from with these absent entrepreneurs,” Hawley said.

“It’s not about shaming,” Hawley stated. “It’s about pride in our town.”

© 2021 Baltimore Sunlight. Dispersed by Tribune Information Agency, LLC.

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