BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott is currently considering whether the city should buy hotels to provide short-term and permanent housing to people with homelessness and needy families.
Scott announced on Wednesday that the city has published a Request for Information (RFI) to buy properties that can be converted into apartments.
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“Providing quality, safe facilities for people and families affected by homelessness is my top priority, and we are grateful to President Biden for donating federal dollars to this end,” said Scott. “I continue to strive to implement a strategy to combat homelessness that takes current acute needs into account while working with service providers and other stakeholders to promote long-term solutions.”
The goal is to have multiple hotels owned and managed by the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services to provide safe, high quality protection for 100 to 130 customers in a single location.
“The provision of uncollected accommodations in hotels has helped contain the spread of COVID and is evidence of how hotels can transform the protection system,” said Tisha S. Edwards, acting director of MOHS. “We are also working hard to use hotels as a resource to improve the city’s access to housing for our homeless neighbors.”
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At the start of the pandemic, Baltimore City moved several community accommodation projects to hotel to provide housing, following CDC guidelines that would allow safe quarantine of people who tested positive for COVID-19.
The city currently has two motel and four hotel leases that will shelter 600 people – most of them older adults or those with health problems.
The city announced in a press release that the current model is not sustainable in the long term.
The city is looking for hotels with 110 to 200 rooms, on-site laundry facilities, accessible entrances and elevators (if several floors), and kitchen facilities. The property would be up to date and would require minimal renovation to meet MOHS requirements.