Mayor Scott Announces $90.4 Million Investment in Homeless Services
Tuesday Feb 22nd, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services to Receive Federal Funding to Support Non-Congregate Emergency Housing and Other Initiatives to Increase Housing Stability
BALTIMORE, MD. (Tuesday, February 22, 2022) — Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) would receive $75 million from Baltimore’s $641 million allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding and $15.4 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) HOME Investment Partnerships Program. 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.
“If we are truly going to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring, we need to make more dollars available for people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity to access essential housing. Today we take a significant step in the realization of that goal,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare many of the challenges our communities face and exacerbated housing loss. This investment is about looking at access to housing as a fundamental human right and connecting residents experiencing homelessness to the services and resources they need to get back on their feet.”
“This award of Federal funding is the catalyst needed to transform the homeless response system in Baltimore City,” said Irene Agustin, Director of MOHS. “We developed our ARPA proposals through community engagement along with a strategic plan to ensure the sustainability of initiatives beyond this one-time investment. Our neighbors facing a housing crisis, who have been among the most vulnerable during the pandemic, deserve quick resolution and an adequate supply of affordable housing.”
“The COVID-19 public health emergency has exacerbated economic hardships on Baltimore families and individuals, including those experiencing homelessness,” Shamiah Kerney, Chief Recovery Officer, said. “The American Rescue Plan Act, specifically, provides that funding can be used to address housing insecurity, lack of affordable housing, and homelessness. The Recovery Office supports the City’s commitment to reducing homelessness and increasing housing stability for our most vulnerable residents.”
The Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs is funding five project proposals that support the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services’ overall strategy to reduce homelessness. Those projects include:
- Non-congregate Emergency Housing for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness: To cover the acquisition of two hotels including renovation and operating support for non-congregate emergency housing.
- Shelter Demobilization for COVID-19 Non-congregate Shelter Sites: Includes rental assistance and case management services for individuals who resided in hotels used as shelter decompression sites.
- Housing Navigation and Landlord Recruitment Support: To reduce the length of time that people experience homelessness. Funds will support housing navigation and landlord recruitment strategies to increase access to safe and affordable housing units.
- Housing Accelerator Fund: To increase the supply of permanent supportive housing units.
- Flexible Fund for Diversion and Rapid Resolution: Because of similarity in service interventions, the proposed Homelessness Diversion and Rapid Resolutions funds have been combined to create the Flexible Fund – short-term rental assistance that will prevent people from entering shelter or help them rapidly exit shelter.
In addition, HUD’s HOME program awarded the City of Baltimore $15.4 million in HOME-ARP funds targeted to assist individuals or households experiencing homeless and other vulnerable populations to reduce homelessness, increase housing stability, and develop more permanent supportive housing. Planning with Baltimore’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which administers HOME funds, is ongoing and follows HUD’s required application and notice for the use of HOME funds.