Saturday, August 06, 2011

Rat Incident Rate Skyrockets While Quality Of Life Declines In Baltimore As Boarded Up Foreclosed Homes Accumulate, Remain Neglected

In Baltimore, Maryland, The Huffington Post reports:
  • Richard Faison didn't mind that a neighbor's home was seized and boarded up until the rats from the vacant house killed one of his dogs. "That's when it hit me," said Faison, a Baltimore retiree. "That home is hurting mine."

  • Baltimore's continuing foreclosure epidemic is a particularly poignant example of the continuing national foreclosure crisis. The city has affixed some of the blame on one major lender, Wells Fargo. In a case that has captured headlines, the city sued Wells in 2008, arguing that it targeted African-American communities with subprime loans the bank knew would not be repaid.


  • But while that action plays out in the courtroom, a daily battle plays out on city streets, as homeowners try to maintain their properties in the face of abandonment and rot in seemingly every direction.


  • The rise in rats is an example of the declining quality of life in some sections of the city as foreclosures and vacant properties have begun to take their toll. Since 2003, rat incidents in his majority-black city of nearly 621,000 are up more than 300 percent, according to the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance-Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore. There were more than 37,000 reports of rats in 2009, data show.

For more, see Rats Spread As Baltimore Fights Foreclosures.