Southwest Partnership

Housing Committee



Nancy McCormick, Leila Kohler-Frueh, Jane Mayrer (St. Luke’s Youth Center), Andrea Franchini (AmeriCorps with Rebuilding Together), Ms. Debra, Christian Hall (Rebuilding Together), Dr. Robert K Johns, George Kleb, Sierra Jackson, Dorothy (Dotie) Page, Phoenix Harlee, Diana Geis, Sonia Eaddy, Brian Greenan, Jonathan Susman, April Patterson (Civic Works), Auna Cooper (United Way), Kevin Gallaher, David McGill, Jonathan Law, Cecilia Gonzalez, Laura Dykes, Derrick McCorvey, MacKenzie Kisiel, Seema Iyer (BNIA), Tony Scott, (SWP ED), Heather Kangas (Chair of SWP Housing committee), Loraine Arikat (Notetaker)

Motion to approve the December meetings by Ms. Nancy. It is seconded by Jonathan Susman.

Guest Speaker: Guest Speaker: Dr. Seema Iyer, University of Baltimore & Executive Director of Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance

  • Rent affordability indicator on the website :
    • Affordability index: The number of people spending more than 30% of their income on rent
    • In the SW, we have more renters than the city wide average.
      • 60% of our renters are paying more than 30% of their income on rent
    • Pigtown neighborhood has similar statistics for rental affordability to neighborhoods like Bel-air Edison, Washington Village, Edmonton Village
      • This information can help SWP think about how we build coalitions
    • Home ownership is actually affordable in these neighborhoods
      • How can we move renters to home ownership
    • Discussing an initiative to reform the housing voucher program in Baltimore City
    • Q: Do people spend more than 30% of their income because rent is high or because their income is low?
      • A: Combination of both.
    • Strategies
      • Move renters to home owners
        • Make sure we are planting the seeds to prepare people for home ownership
      • Work with HABC to change metropolitan fair market rent to small-area fair market rent
        • We have bipartisan support for small-area fair market and it has shown equitable distribute for fair housing
      • Address that 14,000 people are on the Baltimore waitlist for housing vouchers and we have real housing insecurity problem.
    • Use the data to think about goals and steps that are tactical and measurable
    • Tony: Quality of life metrics are on code map
      • Iyer suggested that a vacancy rate of 4% would be a good metric for a healthy residential market.
      • It would be reasonable to move our current 13% vacancy rate down by 2% each year.
      • Home ownership zones: Franklin Square, Mount Clare, Pigtown
        • Track how vacancies are in these zones as well
      • Q: How do we get people into these homes?
        • Seema highlighted a couple things:
          • Important people knowing that we exist, our assets and that this is a great place to live.
          • Way finding signage
          • Make renters aware that they could be paying half as much as they are in rent and getting more for it.
          • We are having conversations to locate a homeownership counselor physically in the Southwest neighborhoods.
        • Q: Could we utilize the Receivership process to help spur speculative investors into some renovation action? That may help chip away at vacant building notices?
          • Short answer: yes
          • One of our goals as an organization is for SWP to be a receiver. This would ensure that property is in the hands of qualified buyers and target it for home ownership.
        • Discussion on making renters to home owners
          • Steve Whalen: NACA is a good resource to market to renters. Online homeownership class and they have great mortgage benefits.
          • Heather: has a financial social work certificate through CASH Campaign and can look at some resources
          • Leila: frequently getting info about free credit repair like Consumer Credit Counseling Services
          • Loraine: having a committee plan and commitment for helping to recruit to these programs will be important
          • Laura: Rehabilitation of homes are more than the sale of the house
            • Challenges: gap financing (rehab cost vs buying cost), property cost
          • Cecilia: What are solutions that we don’t rely on the city and the system? How do we deter gentrification?
            • Chat feedback: important questions, perhaps we can create a small, temporary committee to explore some of Cecilia’s ideas?
          • People interested in a separate task group:
            • Laura Dykes, Cecilia Gonzalez, Jonathan Susman, Jon Law, Diana Geis, Heather Kangas
            • A task group for thinking about innovative solutions openly and discuss the impacts it could have on our area. We can think through how to include people of diverse incomes and housing needs.
            • If you are interested in joining this group, email our social work internl:

Homeownership Zones

  • Release of funds will be happening soon
  • Environmental evaluations are almost done
  • HABC is willing to sell us on 2 properties on Gilmore St.
    • Thinking about doing an environmental evaluation on these properties
  • Baltimore Impact Properties: McHenry properties are about to be listed
    • We are asking BIP to give us more collateral and marketing support

Tax Sale

  • Good chunk of properties making their way through
  • This information is on our website under resources so you can look at those properties

Brian Greenan, Housing Authority

  • Transform Poes Project has been formally accepted. It is the same plan that is listed on their website.
  • Next meeting: Wednesday, Jan 20 @ 6:30pm
    • Housing plan
    • If you want to attend the Poe Neighborhood Task Meeting please email Kevin Gallaher at
  • Selection Panel met on Jan 12th for HUD grant funding
    • Hope to hear from HUD results in a week or so.
    • Top 5 scoring: splash pad, BDEC food retailers, Hollins market interior renovations, aging in place grant via SWP,
    • They have a developer they have been negotiating with for 9 months now
    • Site planning process is a public process so please come to the public meetings!

Center West/ La Cite

  • Heather got in touch with someone at Housing Authority regarding this. Heather hopes to invite this person to the next housing meeting.


  • Leila: home ownership orientation
    • There’s a Habitat Homeownership Orientation session next Saturday, January 23 at 10am! Flyer is attached, and the Facebook link to info (need to register) is here:
  • Christian: Rebuilding Together. Please see flier below.
    • FREE home repairs in SW Baltimore! Reach out to have a consultation!



Motion to adjourn meeting by Ms. Nancy. Seconded by several others.


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