BALTIMORE — Two months ago, WMAR told the story about a group of people fighting to save homes and prevent displacement along Sarah Ann Street in West Baltimore.
On Tuesday, that community got one step closer to getting their wishes granted.
During a local CHAP hearing, leaders said that when it comes to preserving the homes along Sarah Ann and Carroll streets in the Poppelton community, they’re re-evaluating the wishes of the residents and hopefully making a decision next month.
Families, like Sonia Eaddy’s, who’s been in the fight for years, said this restores hope in their efforts to save their community.
“ You took homes, you took businesses, churches that which made our neighborhood a community,” Eaddy said.
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Eaddy is part of a community of people who feel the history of their neighborhood is being wiped away.
“ It’s important to be here today to preserve was left of Poppleton and protect our Black legacy, our Black history to that neighborhood to the city,” Eaddy said.
Eaddy has lived in the Poppleton community, along Carrollton Avenue, for most of her life. She said since the city started buying up properties in the area, especially along Sarah Ann Street, she saw her neighbors forced out and her community turned to blight.
“So they’ve displaced over 200 families in our community since 2004 and so we’re just the last family remaining. We were served a summons of condemnation in February 2020,” Eaddy said.
Once Eaddy and her family were asked to leave, that’s when the fight to preserve her community began.
“ So we’re fighting to have our properties taken off of the acquisitions list and included in this CHAP historical district,” Eaddy said.
Along Sarah Ann Street and Carrollton Avenue in Poppeloton, it's more than just row homes, it serves as a rich history of Black homeownership for centuries. It’s why a community of people are fighting the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation to save the remaining buildings.
“To have lived through the disinvestments in our communities, in our neighborhoods for years, decades, to be displaced when the good, the new is coming, it’s a travesty,” Eaddy said.
Tuesday during a hearing CHAP leaders agreed to re-evaluate the option to preserve the current homes along Sarah Ann Street and add the Carrollton Avenue homes as part of the historic preservation, that decision was tabled until next month leaving those fighting hopeful about the potential outcome.
“ We need to think about the people and the people’s lives, so if they’re going to make things right then do it now. Our houses should matter, our neighborhood should matter, the black communities should matter,” Eaddy said.