The Dismantling of Baltimore’s Public Housing

September 2007 / Abell Reports / Community Development

Housing Authority cutting 2,400 homes for the poor from its depleted inventory—a 15-year trend shows a decrease of 42 percent in occupied units.

While more than a quarter of Baltimore City families are living in poverty, more than 2,4001 homes for the poor are quietly being removed from the already depleted inventory of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC). With little public input, this plan will eliminate the same number of homes as those removed when Baltimore imploded four public housing high-rise projects a decade ago. On its seventieth anniversary, the Housing Authority – once on a mission to replace slums with safe homes for Baltimore’s poor – is now in the demolition business; its occupied inventory has dropped by 42 percent over the last 15 years – from 16,5254 units in 1992 to 9,625 in the spring of 2007. With virtually no plans to replace the deteriorated units being razed or sold, tenant representatives and housing advocates have watched with growing alarm as they wonder if the Housing Authority has abandoned its mission to house the poor.