Baltimore plans to spend $90.4 million of federal funds to buy hotels to replace existing homeless shelters and support other homelessness programs, The Baltimore Sun reported Tuesday.
The city has not yet announced which hotels it will buy, but it plans to replace 275 existing beds in several shelters with private rooms in city-owned hotels, the Sun reported.
“Non-congregate shelter is a best practice we’re seeing throughout the nation,” Director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services Irene Agustin told the Sun. “We know this is an intervention that’s going to work within the city of Baltimore.”
Most of the money will come from COVID-19 relief funds and, in addition to covering the cost of hotels, the funds will help pay rent for formerly homeless people and incentivize landlords to provide affordable properties, according to the Sun.
“The reality is investments in housing, investments in rental assistance, they’ve just been lacking for many, many years and decades,” Agustin said, the Sun reported. “What the federal government and HUD have seen is that housing helps keep people safe. It helps mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Overall, for people, it’s the best place for them.”
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