Shelley Halstead, Founder & executive director

Shelley has lived and worked all over the globe: From a commune in Belgium to an ashram in India to a science station in Antarctica.
She moved to Baltimore in 2015 after spending 20 years in Seattle, where she was a union carpenter for many years. While in the Pacific Northwest she also managed her own construction business and has bought and sold numerous houses, restoring each one. After attending law school as a William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholar at the University of Washington School of Law, Shelley decided to put her skills as a carpenter and her passion for economic and reproductive justice together by using her degree and particular skillset to begin BWBB.

Since their first round in August 2019, BWBB has rebuilt six more houses and is well on its way to meeting its goal of helping six women become first-time homeowners annually. To help keep their houses affordable, BWBB works with the Committee on Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP), which provides a 10-year tax credit on the property value increase resulting from rehabilitation work, saving thousands of dollars for the homeowner. Another initiative to increase affordability is slated to begin in 2022 using low energy/net zero building strategies to reduce the high utility costs that can quickly put a Baltimore homeowner in debt or foreclosure.
BWBB is not only rebuilding sections of historically disenfranchised neighborhoods, they’re doing so economically, environmentally, and consciously.
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Creating community, knowledge, and wealth together.

This project is supported in part by:
Bank of America
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Baltimore Department of Housing & Community Development Grant

Black Women Build-Baltimore is an equal employer. You do not need to identify as Black or a woman to apply but as a mission-based organization, we center Black women. 

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