Ray Lewis team up on plans to rehab at least 500 vacant homes in Baltimore

A nonprofit affordable-housing builder says it will rehab at least 500 vacant Baltimore homes -- in a partnership that includes the Ravens' Ray Lewis -- and intends to start soon.

The North Carolina-based Builders of Hope is announcing the "Bring It Home" initiative today. It says it has secured about $100 million from an investor who wants to remain anonymous and plans to use up to $30 million of that rehabilitating vacant homes in Baltimore and Atlanta.

Lewis and the United Athletes Foundation are involved in the effort, along with debt-counseling group Consumer Education Services Inc.

In Baltimore, Builders of Hope is working with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s Vacants to Value program. The plan is to find a neighborhood close to the Johns Hopkins Hospital with "a good density of vacant, blighted housing all within a certain block radius so we can really have an impact on the community there," said Nancy Welsh, Builders of Hope's founder and chief executive.

Neighborhoods near the East Baltimore hospital have hundreds and hundreds of homes tagged by the city as vacant and unsafe or uninhabitable.

Stay tuned -- colleague Lorraine Mirabella will have more later.

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