Problems abound for vacant homes' neighbors

specially for residents sharing walls with abandoned properties, issues can mount quickly

Abandoned buildings are a perennial problem in Baltimore — a city where many residents share connecting walls. Nearly one-third of the city's 16,000 uninhabitable properties are near occupied homes, city officials say. And a key part of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's new plan to attack vacancies is ratcheting up code enforcement on blocks where many residents still live, issuing fines more quickly. Full Story »

Posted by Stacy Spaulding
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Subjects: Living, Local
Topics: Housing, Baltimore
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# Tweets: 2 (as of 2011-01-10)
Editorial Help
Daniel Rodgers
3.8
by Daniel Rodgers - May. 5, 2011

I enjoyed reading this story. I was slightly aware but highly uneducated on the issue and I learned a lot in this story. I think the author did a nice job making the story personal, but also attempting to retrieve multiple sides of the story. There were a lot of statistics that supported the author's claims. I was impressed by the amount of sources the author quoted and the expert they included.

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Michael Correlli
4.4
by Michael Correlli - Feb. 8, 2011

I always new that there were a lot of vacant houses in Baltimore City but I never realized how much of a problem they were. This story takes a particular instance and compares it well to the bigger picture that is afflicting Baltimore. The vacancy of these homes isn't only a waste for those who need homes, but it also has adverse effects on the residents that live near them. This article has multiple sources and lots of facts. At the same time it's written at a human-interest angle that did a great job of keeping me reading. The fact that you don't quite know the outcome of some of the sources in the story lets you know that this is an ongoing issue that needs to be dealt with.

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Joshua Venecia
4.4
by Joshua Venecia - Feb. 2, 2012

I particularly enjoy how Smith related the article to the reader by using a human source. This is a very well organized article. She led the article with the Malaney's, and then, she ended the article with them with a very strong quote. I also enjoy the use of statistics from good sources. Although, I felt the story drifted towards the sympathic side. As if Smith wanted me to feel sorry for the Malaney's. Which had me thinking, am I suppose to do something about this? Overall, it is a very strong article.

“They are making an economic decision by … not foreclosing on the property.” More »

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Asia S. Hinton
4.0
by Asia S. Hinton - Sep. 6, 2011

I would recommend this story primarily because of the context. I agree that vacant homes are a huge problem in Baltimore City and one that deters many from moving here. The writer also did have a lot of context and sources; however, the one thing I might have tweaked is having the quote a little further up. This is just my opinion, but when I read a story, I want a little of the facts, someone speaking on then (mainly a quote) a little more facts, and so one. But again hopefully this story shines some light on an issue that is not widely looked at.

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Breyana Franklin
4.0
by Breyana Franklin - Sep. 6, 2011

This story took a wide spread problem in Baltimore and examined it on a more personal level by including a family that is forced to deal with it. I enjoyed reading this story and I feel that it educated me on a serious issue that is quite relevant.

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Amanda Khera Fenell
4.1
by Amanda Khera Fenell - Jan. 31, 2012

This was as very interesting story

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Melanie Yanney
4.0
by Melanie Yanney - Feb. 8, 2011

Yes, I feel that this is good journalism. There is an excellent balance of emotion and facts. It kept me interested and well-informed. The number of sources is impressive, spanning from the homeowner to local alliances and community groups, city officials, and the housing department. Facts were cited, and specific data were provided. I trust this article.

See Full Review » (19 answers)
Cari Crabtree
3.6
by Cari Crabtree - Mar. 1, 2011

There isn't much missing from this story. It has context, background, facts, good sourcing. It's not knock-your-socks off compelling, but it is interesting and leaves me satisfied.

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Sarah Jean Alexander
4.8
by Sarah Jean Alexander - Sep. 6, 2011

This story was very well-written and packed with details on the housing market, the city's spending on stabilizing abandoned homes, the amount of abandoned buildings in Baltimore City and the effect these decaying buildings are having on the lives of inhabitants nearby. It is well-sourced and concise, and shows the dangers and truths about living in proximity to deteriorating properties.

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Kristie Udovich
3.5
by Kristie Udovich - Feb. 8, 2011

This is a good example of journalism because of all of the great sources and facts included in the article. WIth the many official sources they had, there were lots of numbers taken so people could get an idea of the money and problems these homes are causing. I also like the Wall Stree Journal format that started and ended with a personal story. I thought it was well written and the official sources really added a lot to the story. I would like to see more of the other side though. Not everyone must be suffering and some people probably take repairing their home in their own hands.

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Elise Meisner
3.5
by Elise Meisner - Feb. 8, 2011

I think this is great journalism. We spoke about this last class, but we were all wondering why this was not published sooner by other publications. It inlcluded plenty of factual information and inlcuded sources as well. It inlcuded experts like Joe Schilling the professor of urban affiars and planning at Virgina Tech and others, well. It was written very well and also very thorough. Overall, I thought it was a job well done.

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Katherina Capon
4.5
by Katherina Capon - Feb. 8, 2011

I thought this story was written well and captured the audiences attention. The story made the reader care and it did so by using facts , numbers and well collected quotes. The story makes the reader think and consider an issue that may not have phased them before. Everything flowed together and transitioned well. I enjoyed this story :)

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Christina Gunther
4.1
by Christina Gunther - Sep. 6, 2011

Opening the story with someone's personal experience helps to highlight the issue at hand. Readers can often connect to a story better when they see there is a personal connection for someone instead of just the facts.

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Annie Milli
3.8
by Annie Milli - Sep. 6, 2011

As a city resident, living in a row house, this topic is of special interest. While I am lucky enough to live on a street with reliable neighbors and houses in good condition, many blocks in my surrounding area are not so lucky. I recall moving in and hearing a neighbor tell me that she used to pray every morning for our block, during the years it was made up of mostly rentals. Stories like this help put that fear into perspecitve.

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Tyler Green
5.0
by Tyler Green - Jan. 31, 2012

Yes, the story portrays an accurate depiction of the problems homeowners living next to abandon properties face, and what the city has/has not done to address these issues.

See Full Review » (4 answers)
Rossella Procopio
4.0
by Rossella Procopio - Feb. 13, 2011

Well-researched, well-written, and engaging. The article makes readers sympathetic to the plight of the people who are being affected without diminishing the hard facts. The wide range of sources makes this story both comprehensive and reliable.

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Adam Salk
3.9
by Adam Salk - Feb. 8, 2011

Yes this is good jourlansim. The story has a strong anicdotal lead that comes full circle. The facts are presented clearly and fairly and support the argument. It is obvious that there are too many unkempt homes in Baltimore.

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Daniel Ciarrocchi
4.1
by Daniel Ciarrocchi - Sep. 6, 2011

This article paints a detailed picture of a family in "foreclosure limbo, " as Professor Schilling said. Everything from the description of the air filters to the initial roof-blowing incident effectively grabs the reader. The author showed plenty of initiative by getting an extensive source list, however, some of the transparency of the article became lost when statistics were cited without attribution. Overall, it was a very illuminating read from an author who more than demonstrated her ability to research and record.

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Yvonne Lawson
3.7
by Yvonne Lawson - Sep. 6, 2011

I would consider this article to be good journalism because of it's context it allows reader to see the larger picture at stake. It is important for readers to understand the problems that plague their community.

I am very interested in this topic, and I feel it is a topic that not too many are aware of.

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Dana Hummel
3.4
by Dana Hummel - Sep. 9, 2011

The subject at hand is quite relevant for many residents living in Baltimore City. I liked how the story incorporated quotes from people that have been affected by abandonment ranging from apparent physical damage to their home as well as having to budget for expensive repairs. My main issue with the lede is that the author did not correctly execute a proper S-V-O relationship which makes it sound like the Malaney's rowhouse breathes air "now heavy with the noxious stink of mold."

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Paul Siegel
3.9
by Paul Siegel - Feb. 2, 2012

Always good to get a first hand account of a neighborhood issue. Really displays how bad a situation can get when it varies from home to home. This is clearly and opinion based peice but still has the facts nhesecary to support it. Statistics, quotes, etc.

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Sarah N Kline
4.7
by Sarah N Kline - Feb. 5, 2012

Yes. A very good article with very good journalistic attributes. All of the information and stats in the article really helps the reader see the problem with the vacant houses in Baltimore.

Very informative article. Gives a lot of info about vacant houses in the Baltimore area and the problems they are causing their neighbors.

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Alyssa Zauderer
4.1
by Alyssa Zauderer - Jan. 31, 2012

This story sheds light on a big problem in Baltimore that might be overlooked. There is a good balance of sources to give all sides on the issue. The use of figures and statistics also really grabbed me. This topic is something that should be looked into further.

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Samuel Smith
4.6
by Samuel Smith - Sep. 6, 2011

Great lead. Really pounded home the idea of the city-wide problem by just bringing the reader update with the issues that one family is dealing with. By making it personal it allows the reader to sympathize with the victims of the vacancies.;

See Full Review » (10 answers)
Luis Batlle
4.6
by Luis Batlle - Feb. 2, 2012

This is good journalism for various reasons. The quotes from different sources are all first-hand and give great depth to the story. There was excellent use of numbers to back up claims and the format was spot on as well, starting and wraping up the Malaney's story. Well done.

This is good journalism for various reasons. The quotes from different sources are all first-hand and give great depth to the story. There was excellent use of numbers to back up claims and the format was spot on as well, starting and wraping up the Malaney's story. Well done.

See Full Review » (12 answers)
Rochelle Werner
4.6
by Rochelle Werner - Feb. 2, 2012

The reporter went straight to the sources and attempted to hear all sides of the issue. This was especially helpful here, where there are more than just two opposing parties involved.

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Brittany Jakubowitz
4.2
by Brittany Jakubowitz - Sep. 6, 2011

I believe this to be good journalism because the article addresses an issue that is relevant to it's audience. It is evident that the writer has done their research and has incorporated what they have found nicely throughout the story.

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Christopher Harris
3.9
by Christopher Harris - Feb. 2, 2012

I think this is definitely good journalism because it begins with a much more detailed situation and then broadens into this bigger event also with great detail. The facts are clearly supported by using reputable sources from the city's records to even the families themselves.

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Robert Joseph Bauer
4.2
by Robert Joseph Bauer - Sep. 6, 2011

The story was both personal and wide spread. It presented the difficulties both personally and economically of home abandonment so all readers could find interest. It also discussed the local issue as well as its relation to other cities and the larger context of the issue. Good use of sources and economic figures.

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Andrew Constant
3.9
by Andrew Constant - Sep. 6, 2011

As someone that's only lived in Baltimore part-time for a little over a year, it's a shame to see things like this about homes that have been ravaged and are affecting others. I'm sure there are problems in every city in the country like this, but when you read about something that is relevant in your hometown or city, it's hard to accept. Needless to say, it's not something that makes me sleep easier, knowing that in places like Baltimore City, where I currently reside, some ... More »

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Tim Connor
4.3
by Tim Connor - Sep. 6, 2011

Good story. This was an example of very good reporting. The reporter did their research and had many sources. This story also tied into the city's plans and made it a good feature story. It was also a watchdog story and maybe it helped this family get their house repaired.

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Alexandria Duncan
4.0
by Alexandria Duncan - Jan. 31, 2012

THe fact that this story affects the city of Baltimore directly and impacts a lot of people makes it a great story. the author uses lots of statistics and quotes, as well.

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Pat Clarke
3.7
by Pat Clarke - Sep. 6, 2011

This story is unique in that it gives us the perspective of a family living next to a rundown house, but it fails to really present a solution or a future trend with the current situation. Still very well written.

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Benjamin Kirsch
4.0
by Benjamin Kirsch - Sep. 1, 2011

I found that this article provided a great insight into the rise of foreclosures in Baltimore City. For those trying to sell these homes or the banks that have foreclosed upon them it is tough to decide whether it is better to simply abandon the buildings, try to sell them, or refurbish them. It is also particularly important that this problem is further emphasized with a poor housing market. This article is great in that it points out the problem and specifically who the ultimate victims are, families like the Malaneys.

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4.1

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from 60 reviews (20% confidence)
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4.0
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4.2
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4.0
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4.1
Insight
3.6
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4.2
Style
4.1
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4.0
Balance
3.2
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4.2
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4.0
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3.6
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4.0
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3.8
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4.1
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3.8
Responsibility
3.9
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4.1
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4.2
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4.3
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