BALTIMORE (WMAR) — The Housing Authority of Baltimore City plans to demolish six buildings of a West Baltimore housing complex, in an effort to make the site "safe".
HABC said they are preparing to relocate 102 families from an old and challenging section of Gilmor Homes projects. The families were notified about the plan on February 25, and plans to have residents moving out starting in May.
The 132 unit structures HABC identifies as “walk-ups” are Vincent and Bruce Courts on the west-end, between North Gilmor Street and North Fulton Avenue. The other buildings are located on Spray Court.
According to HABC officials, these particular units present physical safety concerns. By demolishing the buildings it would be difficult for illegal activity to be concealed.
“This is only a short-term solution to address residents’ concerns over safety,” said HABC Executive Director Janet Abrahams. “We are reducing the density of the property; however our longer-term intention is to come back and work with the community on a more strategic approach to redeveloping this property.”
A spokesperson for HABC told WMAR-2 News that it hasn't been determined what will be done to the property after the demolition, but they're hoping it will create an improved living environment for the remaining families of Gilmor Homes.
A relocation specialist was hired by HABC to conduct one-on-one counseling sessions with each household and provide assistance with securing new homes.
HABC said they will pay for the relocation expenses.
“We are focused on creating quality affordable housing, but this effort is about more than just Gilmor. It’s about the neighborhood," Abrahams said. "Tearing down these buildings is a start but there is a lot of work ahead to transform Sandtown-Winchester. We will be working closely with the City and the community on the most appropriate solutions.”
The agency plans to meet with the remaining residents to discuss the use of the vacant land.