Volume 5 | November 17, 2020
Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership Quarterly Newsletter
A message from the executive director
Helping communities achieve their greatest potential
During this election season, we have heard that we need to "restore the soul of our nation" proclaimed by candidates and political pundits, but what does it mean?

For advocates of equity and justice, it means ensuring every American has the opportunity to reach their full potential. We know that this starts with having a solid foundation, including access to safe and quality housing and resource-rich communities, a great education, strong familial and social connections, and opportunities for economic growth. Restoring the soul of our nation means giving Americans the resources they need to thrive.

For far too long, so many have been living in a world of scarcity, consumed with basic survival. The opportunity to thrive has been out of reach. With the health and economic hardship caused by months of enduring the COVID-19 public health crisis, people need and deserve the support of their government and leaders now more than ever. I am optimistic about steps towards reconciliation, recovery, and rebuilding with the transition of leadership at the local and national level.

In Baltimore, Mayor-elect Brandon Scott has proposed a plan to build an inclusive, equitable economy in Baltimore, which includes investing in historically disinvested neighborhoods. Additionally, the Baltimore City Council recently showed strong support for bills aimed at improving residents’ housing security through initiatives like a like a tenant’s right to legal counsel when faced with eviction and a city-funded housing voucher program.
Nationally, President-elect Joe Biden's proposes a housing plan that includes a $640 billion investment over 10 years, an expansion of the Housing Choice Voucher Program, increased state funding for affordable housing units, and a restoration of critical fair housing laws to curb discrimination.

These leadership actions give me hope. It is now up to us to hold our leaders accountable and continue the work on the ground. In this newsletter, you will read about the ways we're doing just that with several new community partnerships. We look forward to carrying this momentum forward into a new year to help our communities achieve their greatest potential, one family at a time.

In the words of the late Betty Garman Robinson, Baltimore’s beloved lifelong freedom fighter and community ally: “We gotta keep up the fight!” 

Adria Crutchfield
Partnerships matter
The Baltimore Women's Giving Circle at the Baltimore Community Foundation brings together women from diverse backgrounds to empower women and their families in Baltimore City and Baltimore County. At the group's monthly meeting on September 23, BRHP had the opportunity to share the impact of housing mobility programs, and garner support for anti-poverty solutions that strengthen families and create integrated communities from the philanthropic group through participation in a panel discussion moderated by Lawrence Lanahan.
With all that's happening in our communities with the COVID-19 pandemic, it's now more important than ever for our clients to be informed of their rights as a tenant. On September 24, we enlisted the help of our friends at the Public Justice Center and Homeless Persons Representation Project to offer our clients a 'Know Your Rights Webinar' to break down the national evictions moratorium, discuss their legal rights, and offer practical advice.
Compass Working Capital provides savings and financial coaching programs that support families with low incomes to build assets, achieve their financial goals, and become financially secure. On October 22, BRHP had the opportunity to present at their 5th Annual National FSS Conference in a panel titled "The Power of Stories: Impacting People, Programs, and Policy." In this closing conference panel, BRHP joined a FSS program graduate, an author, and a financial coaching manager to deliver a TED-style talk focused on topics ranging from how telling stories can help shift policy to how to alter the narrative for what it means to grow up in subsidized housing.
On August 27, BRHP moderated a panel discussion for the 2020 Fair Housing Film Festival hosted by the Baltimore City Office of Equity and Civil Rights. The panel, titled "Highlight the Fight: How artists, community members, and activists came together to bring attention to housing discrimination," followed the film screening of "Brick by Brick: A Civil Rights Story." Check out the video below.
In 2019, BRHP was awarded a $100,000 planning grant from The Kresge Foundation to advance health equity through housing in Baltimore. In collaboration with the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, BRHP is conducting planning activities for a Healthy Children Demonstration to create a foundation for aligning housing vouchers with health promoting environments in the Baltimore region to improve health outcomes for children. On November 12, BRHP joined the Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative to share more about this health and housing initiative. Check out the video recording of the engaging discussion on housing mobility and health outcomes in Baltimore.
What does the research say?
BRHP in Conversation: What Determines the Success of...

Introduction Housing mobility programs, like the one administered by the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership, assist people in moving from disinvested neighborhoods to ones with more resources and opportunities. My coauthors, Dionissi...

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The Power of Place | Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health...

In the 1995 landmark fair housing lawsuit Thompson v. HUD, the American Civil Liberties Union argued that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development violated the Fair Housing Act of 1968 by concentrating Black public housing residents...

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It takes a village: BRHP in the community
Provided over 200 students with school supplies for remote learning

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we adapted our Back to School Supply Drive this year to a drive-through outside of our building to safely distribute school supplies to our clients. Our clients had the option to drive or walk up to retrieve supplies and with the support of your generous donations, we were able to provide over 200 students with the traditional, supplemental and the technology supplies they needed for remote learning. Thank you for supporting this effort.
BRHP Collaboration with YMCA Provides Academic Support...

In September, BRHP and the Y in Central Maryland (the Y) launched a collaboration that has provided access to academic support at the Y Academic Support Centers at no cost to students of families receiving rental assistance from the Baltimore...

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Up next
Baltimore Regional Project-Based Voucher Initiative
BRHP is at the forefront of innovative approaches to accessing affordable housing in high opportunity areas.

Since 2015, BRHP has partnered with the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) and five local public housing agencies to provide project-based vouchers to local property owners and developers to rent units to families with low-incomes through the Baltimore Regional Project-Based Voucher Initiative.

Unlike tenant-based Housing Choice Vouchers, project-based vouchers stay with a rental unit as each tenant moves in and out. The partnership has committed 150 vouchers to the initiative, including 50 additional vouchers in 2020.

BRHP will begin to to provide pre-move housing counseling this month to 50 families referred from the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. Families will participate in BRHP's workshop series and a one-on-one action plan session.
The Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership (BRHP) helps families with low incomes, who have historically been excluded from housing in neighborhoods of their choice, access and transition successfully to safe, healthy, and economically vibrant communities. Since becoming the formal administrator of the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program, which couples Housing Choice Voucher administration with counseling supports, BRHP has helped over 5,000 families with young children improve their quality of life as they search for new homes.