Housing Committee Meeting April 12 th , 2018
Meeting called to order 7:10pm
1. Welcome and Introductions: Diana extended welcome to all new people and introductions of
attendees. Thanks to those who helped with the housing fair. Introductions of presenters and
announcement of items on agenda.
There will be no sub committee reports from the Outreach Committee and Center West due to full
Open invite to suggest speakers or subjects for discussion.
2. Review of Minutes from March Meeting: March minutes were reviewed and approved.
3. Presentation: Baltimore Neighborhoods Inc:
a. Tenant Landlord Program: runs a hotline which answers questions about tenant and
landlord rights and responsibilities.
b. Products: They also sell a large guidebook on all the State laws.
c. Fair Housing Department: Assists those who have been discriminated against. It helps
walk individuals through the process of filing complaints concerning discrimination. They
also investigate complaints. Many calls come from people with disabilities who are
having disputes concerning things to help them in their home.
d. Education and Outreach to present for those who would like to have them speak to
groups and share information. It is a free service.
i. About 2 hours for Tenants Rights. 1 hour present and 1 hour questions
ii. How to read a lease.
e. The hotline is 410-243-6007 Local for Baltimore or 1-800-487-6007. 9am-5:30pm
Monday-Friday. Online www.bni-maryland.org/Ask-A-Specialist.html
i. Available to those in public housing also, although help would be limited, they
can offer information concerning situations and the legality.
f. Offer to anyone wanting to volunteer to be a tester.
4. 20/20 Campaign: Maura, Intern with United Workers. Calling on Mayor to budget 20 million
dollars for the deconstruction of vacants to create green space. And 20 Million to create
affordable housing. Community Driven Development is the end goal. 2016 Ballot Initiative for
affordable housing trust fund in the city with a commission to oversee it was approved by the
voters. Collected 18k signatures. On March 22 nd , they received a commitment of only 2 million
dollars to go into the trust fund.
a. Fund the Trust Act: Get a funding source for the affordable housing trust fund. Trying to
break away from the municipal budget as it is difficult to fund from the city. It would
generate about 20 million annually through a one-time 1% surcharge on the transfer of
real property interests by for-profit owners, businesses and trusts.
b. Funds are allowed to be used for housing services, such as for aging that need assistance
in installing needed things in their house and make repairs.
c. Press Conference and Hearing on Monday April 16 th 4pm at Baltimore city hall to get
attention towards getting interest in the trust fund.
d. There are postcards which can be filled out in a mailing campaign to the council
e. The Affordable Housing Trust Commission should be getting set up in the next few
months. The members are appointed by the mayor. Made up of professionals and city
f. The referendum. We voted to support the 20/20 campaign. Was supposed to be on the
ballot on the November ballot, so that the city would be authorized to issue municipal
bonds. General obligations bonds was one of the original asks. What happened was at
the Board of Estimates, the allocation was at 3 million and it was increased 15 million. It
went to parks and rec and beautification around the city. The bond allowances are set
two years in advance. 2020 and 2021, we now have $5 million dollars of bonds for
affordable housing. Petition campaign last year was a strategic move to show public
support. When we were originally made aware of this referendum, it was understood
that the bonds would be available as a source of funds for projects in the city. This was
not the case. Possibly a miscommunication. There are two different affordable housing
funds. Mayor has final say on the budget. They felt that bonds would be a sustainable
funding source for the trust fund. They now would have to wait until 2022 for this to be
possible. It has been suggested that we have back the gentlemen who spoke to us in the
past to explain what happened with the 2020 Campaign.
g. They are looking for a commitment from the housing committee to be supporters for
the Fund the Trust Act Council Legislation. In order to utilize the Southwest Partnership
Organization’s name, it would have to be voted on by the Board of Directors on Tuesday
April 17 th , 2018.
i. Suggested to make a presentation at the board meeting on Tuesday Night.
ii. Asked that the bill be sent out to the housing committee for review before we
make a decision to pass on to the board.
h. Affordable Trust Fund is to develop, maintain, and steward affordable housing in the
city of Baltimore. Individuals that make 50% of Area Median Income qualify for
i. Chose to table this at this time until we may review further information.
5. Housing Proposals: BRNI was funded and Community Legacy was funded. CORE was not funded
this year. It will be funded next year. CORE was not included in the budget. It was mandated to
fund CORE starting July 2019. Hopefully we will be back in progress next year.
a. 2019 State Applications for Funding: A 90 day window of putting proposals together,
which was supposed to open April 11 th , was reduced to a 30 day window and now the
computer system is not working. They hope that they will begin working on the 17 th .
They are not extending the deadline.
i. Gating – 100,000
ii. Facades – 100,000
iii. Small Grants- 75,000
iv. Operating – 120,000
v. Planning – Head Building of Hollins Market – International Village – 75,000
vi. Housing – 1,000,000
1. Unit Mount St –
2. Pratt and Mount St – Social Impact Group
3. Fayette St – Homes Free USA
4. 1300 W Pratt St – Homes Free USA
vii. SoWeBo Athletic Authority – 30,000
1. Seed Athletic Teams Fields
viii. Signage – 50,000
ix. Malaki Mills Museum – 20,000
1. For stabilization
x. Black Cherry Theater – 20,000
b. Venroy July – State is reviewing the request for funding for the unit block of S Schroeder
c. State gave ok to move forward with 1606 and 1608 Pratt St although the other houses
in the block will remain in receivership past the deadline for use of fund.
d. 5 N. Stricker street is in the budget.
e. 1420 W. Baltimore St – the 0wner has informed the city that she is meeting with a
developer on April 24th to make a presentation for a joint venture.
f. 1503-1513 Mario Lloyd and Michael Rock Projects are progressing.
g. Baltimore Theater is hopefully proceeding.
i. Put on a new roof and take down the façade and make a down payment on the
ii. We are waiting to hear back from Mr. Clark.
6. Aging in Place:
a. HUBS: Chelsea works on housing upgrades for seniors, primarily homeowners 65 or
older. It allows them to make modifications for safety and allow them to stay in their
i. They have not done a lot of outreach in Southwest Baltimore. The various
community associations will be contacted to arrange for HUBS presentations.
b. BNI Housing Fair: Collington Square Neighborhood. Seniors may require transportations.
Several resources will be there concerning modifications, repairs, and accommodations
for seniors in regard to aging in place.
i. We hope to host a BNI housing fair in our community
c. Lack of Senior Center. COIL lost funding and the senior center closed about 10 years ago.
There was historically a senior center in our community. We can make a case that there
is a Federal Obligation that is not being met due to Title 3 which funds services to
support seniors. It has gone to fund senior centers mostly. It provides guidelines and
some funding for seniors. It funds approx. 13 senior centers around the city including
the center in Mt. Vernon. The closest is Baker St in Sandtown which is not easily
accessible for most of our seniors. We would like to ask for funding for a senior center
to serve our 7 neighborhoods.
i. Suggestion that we utilize the schools for more neighborhood uses. This may be
a valuable resource.
ii. We should address the appropriate  that should be handling these needs and
show that the seniors in our 7 neighborhoods are underserved.
7. Tax Sales – Tax Sales List is getting shorter as people pay their taxes to the city. Kudos to Scott
Kashnow to pull the database and then broke it down by neighborhood. He compared to city
code map to find which were vacant. About a 10% error rate. Reduces number of properties to
review. There was a commitment from the city last year that if we could present properties that
we have a use for, we would have the opportunity to have it pulled from public auction. We
would have the opportunity to foreclose on those properties.
a. Mt. Clare has the most vacants, followed by Franklin Square, then Pigtown, and Union
b. Of the 50 houses identified in Pigtown that we would like to acquire, over half are on
the tax sale list.
c. If this process is followed, we would have no competition as there would be no
opposing bids. We would be able to go to foreclosure on the vacants we would like to
acquire within 6 months.
d. In order to acquire these properties, Michael Seipp is applying for a loan to make it
possible and then pass on to a developer to redevelop.
e. Southwest Partnership Office Saturday 9am -11am to review the list of properties
before being submitted to the neighborhoods.
f. At the May meeting we need to pass a resolution to submit it to the city.
8. New Business/Old Business:
a. Maryland Renters Tax Credit Program: Low Income Renters can get money back even if
they don’t pay taxes. Suggestion to have them coming to make a presentation. They will
be at the resource fair on April 28 th .
b. Green Network Plan which includes expansion of Traci Atkins Park and additional park in
Franklin Square. Open for comment until the end of the month at
c. Sustainability Plan was just released as a draft. Have until the end of April to review.
d. Undesign the Redline by Designing the We – May 12 th the exhibit opens at the Biopark
on 801 W. Baltimore St. and will be followed by an event concerning the discussion of
race. The discussion panel is made up of several professionals.
e. April 28 th , the workforce committee is organizing a fair for people to access job
resources and there is a general call for volunteers.