Editorial - Immigrants needed
As part of Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening's "Smart Growth" plan to prevent suburban sprawl by redeveloping older urban areas, state officials this week announced that Hagerstown will get $2 million in low-interest mortgage money.
Some renters in the targeted areas of this city say they're not enthusiastic about becoming homeowners, but it would be a mistake for city officials to consider them the only possible owners. In the first downtown economic summit three years year ago, a group looking at housing issues concluded that the best prospects for new residents downtown might be people from outside the county.
To be blunt, given a choice, many Washington County residents do not think of downtown Hagerstown and its surrounding neighborhoods as prime places to live. Some renters interviewed by The Herald-Mail said they live where they do, not because they liked the neighborhoods, but because the rents are low.