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Flooding isn't the only path to substandard housing

Will government battle substandard housing in Baltimore like it soon will in Houston?

Some aspects of the housing emergency Hurricane Harvey has caused and will cause are, sadly, just another day for many residents right here in Baltimore — mold, mildew, filth, collapsing roofs and ceilings, no running water, etc. ("Spirit of neighborliness in America post-Harvey," Sept. 5). Citizens get stuck for all kinds of reasons in sub-standard housing. I've been lucky to witness many find their way out, but it's obviously not ripe for last week's type of telethons.

Imagine after putting a comprehensive plan in place, we declared our own emergency. Imagine if our neighbors responded just as generously as they are to Hurricane Harvey.

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As we approach next year's 50th anniversary of the riots that permanently left many neighborhoods in ruins, I dream of the same all-hands-on-deck approach forced upon Texas. It should not be utopian to visualize and laser-focus on the goal of decent housing for our own brothers and sisters right here in Baltimore City. Let's dream bigger than our piggy bank allows and try harder to get there. With such a huge need, maybe a telethon isn't such a crazy idea.

Donna Beth Joy Shapiro, Baltimore

Send letters to the editor to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

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