City of Baltimore Reaches Deal to Acquire Two Hotels in Response to Housing Crisis

Crest of the City of Baltimore

Brandon M. Scott
Mayor,
Baltimore City
250 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
(410) 396-3835 - Fax: (410) 576-9425

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

ARPA funding will be used to purchase the Sleep Inn & Suites and Holiday Inn Express to increase emergency shelter inventory for residents experiencing homelessness

BALTIMORE, MD (Wednesday, February 14, 2024) – Today, the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) announced a deal to acquire two hotel properties with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) as part of the City’s response to the nationwide housing crisis and the subsequent rise in homelessness. This latest hotel acquisition is a critical extension of MOHS’s effort to provide housing stability, emergency shelter, and supportive services to individuals experiencing homelessness in Baltimore City.

“The acquisition of these hotels is a critical expansion of our ability to address the needs of our most vulnerable residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “The Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs, the Mayor’s Office of Infrastructure Development, the Department of Real Estate, and other critical partners worked diligently to secure a fair deal for the city. We expect the deal to move through the Board of Estimates process in the coming days and put my Administration in a position to add meaningful and immediate capacity to our emergency shelter system.”

“The lack of affordable housing has significantly contributed to the increase in people experiencing homelessness around the country and right here in Baltimore City. This purchase aligns with our commitment to address immediate shelter needs, as well as put the city on a path to create permanent supportive housing opportunities for our most vulnerable populations in the near future,” said Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services Director Ernestina Simmons. “I am grateful to Mayor Scott and all of our partners for recognizing the value of this opportunity as we work to make homelessness rare and brief in Baltimore City.”

The COVID-19 pandemic widened the gap related to housing and healthcare inequities for people at risk of or experiencing homelessness. To address this growing need, cities across the country began acquiring hotels and motels as alternative options for housing in the midst of overcrowded shelters and other spaces. In 2020, the City of Baltimore adopted this approach and began renting hotel space as a means of providing safe emergency shelter for residents.

After extensive negotiations, the City has reached an agreement to purchase the Sleep Inn and Suites located at 300 N. Front Street; the Holiday Inn Express located at 221 N. Gay Street and 332 N. Front Street; and the parking lot located between these two hotels at 320 N. Front Street. The total cost will be $15.2 million for the acquisition and $3.2 million for the management agreement for both hotels. The agreements will go to the Board of Estimates for approval on Wednesday, February 21, 2024. The City is expected to close on the properties and the management agreement no later than Spring 2024.

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