Pilot initiative aims to create 50 new apartments through collaboration with city & community partner

(BALTIMORE – February 14, 2019) – In an effort to combat homelessness in the city, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) has launched the Housing Plus Pilot program, to provide housing for up to 50 homeless families. HABC is partnering with the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) and the community non-profit Healthcare for the Homeless to assist with the program.
The Housing Plus Pilot will provide stable housing to chronically homeless families along with educational and informational services to help them maintain their housing stability to become economically and socially mobile. The initiative was created by HABC’s Executive Director Janet Abrahams and it is the first program of its kind for Baltimore Housing.
“The Housing Plus Pilot program is designed to make an immediate impact on the huge issue of homelessness in our city,” said Abrahams. “These homes represent our contribution to joining with the city in collectively addressing the crisis.”
Applicants come through MOHS’ Continuum of Care program. The system identifies what services homeless individuals and families need to help them successfully live in their newly rehabbed HABC home. Healthcare for the Homeless meets regularly with the families and provides ongoing services.
The pilot program is starting with two phases that will provide an initial 14 new homes for families at several HABC developments across the city, including Douglass Homes, Latrobe Homes, Cherry Hill Homes and Brooklyn homes. HABC has already provided five families with new homes with two more in the application/review stage.
“The beauty of what we’re doing here is that previous efforts at addressing homelessness were done with housing vouchers,” said Abrahams. “With this program, we are doing this with our public housing units. This means these residents are moving into permanent homes, required to pay only 30 percent of their income as rent.”
HABC and its partners will be monitoring the progress of the first two phases and eventually ramping up to expand to reach 50 new homes for homeless families.
The Housing Plus Pilot program is also part of HABC’s commitment under Director Abrahams to improve housing services, create safer neighborhoods and become an integral community partner throughout the City of Baltimore. Other recent accomplishments and announcements have included dramatically reducing the rat population at HABC communities by 82 percent, earning a $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant from the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development to transform the Perkins Somerset Oldtown Community, and preparing to demolish the Gilmor Homes to make the site safer for residents and the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.
“Along with providing high-quality housing, most importantly, we are creating new education, recreation and economic opportunities that will connect residents to the tools they need to achieve their personal goals,” Abrahams said.
About HABC: 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. #bmoreHABC