Tackling Housing Insecurity – Baltimore’s Homelessness and Housing Initiative

Tackling Housing Insecurity

Homelessness and affordable housing are inextricably linked. Under the direction of Mayor Brandon M. Scott, the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) and the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) have partnered to leverage Federal funding provided for COVID-19 relief to make homelessness rare and brief, and housing affordable for all Baltimoreans.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

The 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided funding to the City of Baltimore in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its negative economic impacts. Mayor Scott is using this one-time funding to make strategic investments in Baltimore’s future and equitably deliver resources and services to City residents.

In pursuit of these goals, in July 2021 Mayor Scott established the Mayor's Office of Recovery Programs (MORP), responsible for administering all aspects of ARPA funding and regularly reporting to the federal government, as well as the public.

More information on Recovery Programs in the City of Baltimore can be found on MORP's website.

Baltimore's Commitment to Homeless Services and Housing

In February 2022, Mayor Scott announced the Mayor's Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) would receive $75 million from Baltimore’s allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. Additionally, MOHS would partner with the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to receive $15.4 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME-ARP). The $90.4 million in combined funding will allow the City to implement best practices from its COVID-19 emergency housing response as a model for its long-term response to homelessness. 

NEWS RELEASE - February 22, 2022 - Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services to Receive Federal Funding to Support Non-Congregate Emergency Housing and Other Initiatives to Increase Housing Stability

In March 2022, Mayor Scott committed $100 million in ARPA funding towards housing initiatives designed to address several key issues including creating affordable housing. This announcement marked the largest ARPA allocation by the Scott Administration and brings financial support for housing and homeless initiatives together to nearly $200 million to tackle housing insecurity. 

NEWS RELEASE - March 11, 2022 - City’s Review of Vacant Properties Complete, Mayor Announces $100 Million ARPA Commitment Towards Housing Equity

Baltimore's Homelessness & Housing Initiative

House America

In May 2022, Mayor Scott joined the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) for House AmericaAn All-Hands-On-Deck Effort to Address the Nation’s Homelessness Crisis.

House America is a national partnership in which HUD and USICH invite mayors, county leaders, Tribal nation leaders, and governors to use the historic investments provided through the American Rescue Plan to address the crisis of homelessness through a Housing First approach by immediately rehousing and creating a pipeline to build additional housing for people experiencing homelessness.

House America leverages funding from the American Rescue Plan, federal, state, and local resources. Baltimore has set a goal to rehouse at least 1,000 households experiencing homelessness and add at least 1,605 new units of affordable housing, including 597 deeply affordable units, into the development pipeline during the 2022 calendar year.

NEWS RELEASE - May 18, 2022 - Mayor Scott Joins HUD’s House America Initiative to Address Homelessness in Baltimore

House America Goals

On February 14, 2023, Mayor Scott announced that Baltimore has achieved its House America goals! By December 31, 2022, over 1,400 neighbors had been rehoused and over 2,500 units of affordable housing had been added to the development pipeline.

NEWS RELEASE - February 14, 2023 - Mayor Brandon M. Scott Announces Baltimore's Success in Housing Over 1,400 Households Experiencing Homelessness

Leadership Committee on Homelessness and Housing

To guide the strategic plan to help Baltimore achieve its House America goals and implement ARPA-funded projects related to homelessness and housing, Mayor Scott has convened the City of Baltimore’s Leadership Committee on Homelessness and Housing. The committee includes homeless services and housing providers, philanthropy, city departments, people with lived experience of homelessness as well as representatives from hospitals, behavioral health, academia, and public safety.

Director Irene Agustin of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) and Commissioner Alice Kennedy of the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) are co-chairs the Leadership Committee on Homelessness and Housing. 

Full List of Current Leadership Committee Members

The Leadership Committee works in collaboration with Baltimore City’s Continuum of Care (CoC).

The Leadership Committee includes three subgroups:

  • Steering Committee
  • Rehousing Workgroup
    • This workgroup includes six areas of focus: Hospital Partnership – Medical Respite, Flexible Fund for Diversion and Prevention, Non-Congregate – Hotel Acquisition, Shelter Demobilization and Rapid Rehousing, Housing Navigation and Landlord Engagement, and Hospital Partnership (Assistance in Community Integration), all of which that are in various stages of development and implementation.
  • Housing Creation Workgroup
    • This workgroup is charged with creating and submitting the required HOME-ARP allocation plan to HUD for approval and designing the Housing Accelerated Fund program.  It is estimated that these funds will be available to support specific projects in Q1 2023.  This workgroup will also work to develop a comprehensive system to track all potential housing projects to better understand the impact and opportunity to reduce homelessness in Baltimore City.

Monthly Update Report - May 2023

More Information on Committee Meetings

ARPA-Funded Project(Status updates as February 2023)

HOME-ARP-Funded Project 

  • Housing Accelerator Fund
    • $32.5 Million committed
    • To access $15.4 Million of HOME-ARP funding, DHCD will submit proposal to HUD
    • Community listening session held to gather feedback on implementation

Full Strategic Investment Plan