City, state leaders announce plan for blight

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 06:16:25-05
Police said Alan Floyd intentionally set a home on fire, killing 61-year-old Sharon Williams. After four days on the run, 'Public Enemy No. 1' has been caught. 
"We got a number of tips in. Some of those tips helped our warrant apprehension detectives track him down to this location. He was inside a vacant dwelling. He had some knives on him but he did not pose a threat," Baltimore Police Department Spokesman T.J. Smith said.  
Police said Floyd was arrested without incident in the 800 block of Montford Avenue. The vacant homes, which number in the thousands in the city, do pose a challenge for police. 
"Certainly some danger inside of those homes just because of the lack of upkeep so going into those for our officers is certainly dangerous but it also is a hiding place for people like Mr. Floyd," Smith told ABC2. 
"There's a lot of violence out here already and you know people already going to use them," Eric Dee of Baltimore said.

Police agree that people use them not only to hide from them, but for other criminal activity. It is that kind of opportunity city and state leaders say they want to get rid of. 
The governor, the mayor and the state Housing and Community Development secretary have announced a plan to address blight in Baltimore. It is called Project C.O.R.E.
"A historic multi-year partnership between the state and the city to immediately begin the process of demolishing thousands of empty, decaying buildings throughout Baltimore City," Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday afternoon. 
Hogan said in the first year of the multi-hundred million dollar project, about 20 city blocks could be completely cleared.  
The work started right away in the 1000 block of North Stricker Street in Sandtown. Once the buildings are demolished, and removed, the blocks will be converted to green spaces.
"Residents here in Baltimore City deserve a commitment from their leaders to deliver real and meaningful change so that Baltimore's future can be brighter than it's present or it's past," Hogan said. 
The project to eliminate blighted blocks will be supported by $600 million from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. 

Download the ABC2 News app for the iPhone, Kindle and Android.