BALTIMORE — The Housing Authority of Baltimore City is launching a new program that aims on putting 50 homeless families in new homes.
The HABC announced on Thursday they are teaming up with the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services and the community non-profit Healthcare for the Homeless to start a Housing Plus Pilot Program. The program is the first of its kind, and will provide stable housing to chronically homeless families and give them educational and informational services to help them maintain housing stability and becoming more socially and economically mobile.
“The Housing Plus Pilot program is designed to make an immediate impact on the huge issue of homelessness in our city,” said HABC’s Executive Director Janet Abrahams, who came up with the program. “These homes represent our contribution to joining with the city in collectively addressing the crisis.”
Applicants will come through a program which identifies what services certain homeless people and families may need. They will then go through the program that will start with two phases. The first two phases will provide 14 homes to families at several HABC developments across the city, including Douglass Homes, Latrobe Homes, Cherry Hill Homes and Brooklyn homes. After those phases are complete, they will ramp up to expand the program to 50 new homes.
“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.”
Five families have already gotten new homes, and two more are in the application and review stage.