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HABC Accepts 278 Emergency Housing Vouchers

Credit: Bruce Emmerling/Pixabay
Credit: Bruce Emmerling/Pixabay

The Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) plans to distribute all 278 emergency housing vouchers made available through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The vouchers, allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will target people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, as well as residents fleeing from domestic violence. They will not be available to residents who are on HABC’s waitlist for other vouchers.

Janet Abrahams, president and CEO of HABC, told WYPR that this is a unique opportunity to provide desperately needed housing to Baltimore residents.

“This is a good thing for Baltimore,” Abrahams said. “Homelessness is not going to go away with these 278 vouchers. But it will help.”

HABC plans to issue the vouchers between July and the end of October. Abrahams said the housing authority will need that time to secure tenants for all 278 vouchers.

“We are hiring a tenant placement service group that can help us to find different housing for the families,” she said. “We are hiring additional staff to help administer the program.”

Over the past week, housing advocates called on Abrahams to accept all 278 vouchers. HABC announced Friday it was accepting all the vouchers, noting that this was always its intention and that “requirements had to be met and partnerships ensured prior to any announcement.”

The vouchers are an addition to 50 that HABC gave in April to the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services.

Sarah Y. Kim is WYPR’s health and housing reporter. Kim is WYPR's Report for America corps member, and Anthony Brandon Fellow. Kim joined WYPR as a 2020-2021 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The GroundTruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. Now in her second year as an RFA corps member, Kim is based in Baltimore City.