FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Housing Authority of Baltimore City Receives $10 Million HUD Grant to Support Perkins, Somerset, & Oldtown Transformation
Federal Supplemental Grant will support three of the four remaining phases of redevelopment
(BALTIMORE | April 24, 2023) – The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) today announced it received an additional $10 million Choice Neighborhood Implementation grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to support the Perkins, Somerset and Oldtown (PSO) Transformation project.
The PSO encompasses a 244-acre transformation zone home to almost 6,000 residents in more than 2,000 households. Approximately 60 percent of the 1,644 new units being built across the three development sites are designated for low-income, affordable housing. Of which, approximately 1,360 new mixed-income units will be built across Perkins and Somerset home sites.
The housing development portion of the PSO is being built in nine phases. The recently awarded HUD grant funds are a critical finance source for three of the four remaining phases of the housing redevelopment. Perkins phases 1 and 2 and Somerset phases 2 and 3 are currently under construction. Somerset phase 1 is complete.
“One hundred percent of the funds are dedicated to housing construction and replacement units for several additional phases of the project, including Perkins 4 and 5 and Somerset 4,” said Janet Abrahams, HABC’s President and CEO. “It will help us achieve our ultimate goal of transforming neighborhoods of extreme poverty into sustainable, thriving, mixed-income communities.”
The PSO is a designated Choice Neighborhood, and the grants assist in the redevelopment of severely distressed HUD-assisted properties into mixed-income communities. The federal program has a three-pronged “Housing, People, and Neighborhood” approach that includes not only redevelopment of distressed properties, but also provides support to residents related to their health, education, and income, while simultaneously investing in neighborhood improvement projects which promote economic development and private investment.
“When it comes to Choice Neighborhoods, HUD is an invested partner at the table,” said Secretary Marcia L. Fudge. “Cities and public housing authorities are working tirelessly to address affordable housing shortages despite pandemic area construction costs increases. The additional Choice Neighborhoods funding represents HUD’s continued commitment to creating new housing for the communities that need it most.”
In July 2018, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) grant to HABC in partnership with the City of Baltimore, for the implementation of the PSO Transformation Plan. HABC was one of 16 government agencies across the country that received a Choice Neighborhood Implementation Grant.
“We are redesigning and revamping Baltimore’s aging public housing stock that will yield benefits for existing and future residents and the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Abrahams. “The PSO is a collaborative effort by government agencies, community stakeholders, developers and residents – all working together to reverse decades of disinvestment and intergenerational poverty.”
The transformation project is led by HABC with the City of Baltimore, and four development partners, including McCormack Baron Salazar, Beatty Development Group, Mission First, and the Henson Company. Urban Strategies Inc. is the project’s human capital partner. Along with new housing opportunities, the project includes new commercial spaces, a new 21st century school, major grocer, and two new parks.
HABC is the fifth largest public housing authority in the U.S., providing quality affordable housing for more than 23,000 households. The agency creates diverse and vibrant communities, provides opportunities for self-sufficiency, and builds pathways for strong partnerships.