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Published by: Harvard Kennedy School
Published in: 1990

Abstract

When an expected real estate boom and gentrification fails to materialize, thousands of Baltimore''s famous "row homes" are in danger of being abandoned. Owners are under pressure from city housing codes to upgrade, but know it''s not likely they''ll be able to realize sufficient return on major renovation. It''s in this context that a major developer proposes "minimal rehab"-sufficient renovation to secure structures and address major problems but not necessarily to bring homes up to code. The case, which builds toward decision points faced by city and state regulators, highlights the ways in which social policy decisions are imbedded in the setting of standards.

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Abstract

When an expected real estate boom and gentrification fails to materialize, thousands of Baltimore''s famous "row homes" are in danger of being abandoned. Owners are under pressure from city housing codes to upgrade, but know it''s not likely they''ll be able to realize sufficient return on major renovation. It''s in this context that a major developer proposes "minimal rehab"-sufficient renovation to secure structures and address major problems but not necessarily to bring homes up to code. The case, which builds toward decision points faced by city and state regulators, highlights the ways in which social policy decisions are imbedded in the setting of standards.

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