BRHP and the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program
The Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership (BRHP), a nonprofit organization, is the Regional Administrator for the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program. The Baltimore Housing Mobility Program has opened pathways to a better future for low-income families for nearly 15 years. BRHP currently provides 4,000 low-income families expanded housing, educational, and employment options in opportunity areas across the Baltimore region.
The Baltimore Housing Mobility Program couples federal housing vouchers with intensive pre- and post-move counseling. BRHP assists qualified families to move from areas of concentrated poverty to areas of high opportunity. Those families are empowered to find high quality and affordable housing in communities with strong schools, low crime, and ample job opportunities. This innovative program successfully overcomes barriers that have traditionally excluded voucher families from these high opportunity neighborhoods.
BRHP’s housing vouchers can be used regionally - in high opportunity areas in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, and Howard Counties, in addition to Baltimore City. Unlike regular voucher programs, BRHP provide extensive counseling to our participants, most of whom are residents of low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore when they enter the program.
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, BRHP was created as a result of the landmark civil rights case Thompson v. HUD, originally filed by the ACLU of Maryland in 1995 on behalf of African American families residing in public housing in Baltimore City. A partial consent decree in 2002 led to the mobility program’s creation. The final settlement of the lawsuit in 2012, negotiated by lawyers from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the ACLU, as well as private attorneys, provided additional vouchers and assured funding for the voucher program through 2027. BRHP is governed by a diverse Board of Directors made up of leaders in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, together with program participants.
BRHP’s other work
BRHP is on the forefront of innovative approaches to accessing affordable housing in high opportunity areas. BRHP has partnered with five other public housing agencies, and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC), for the Baltimore Regional Project-Based Voucher Program. That initiative will produce 100 long-term affordable project based voucher units in high opportunity neighborhoods.
BRHP is sharing the lessons it has learned with other housing authorities and service providers throughout the nation. BRHP is part of the Mobility Works consortium, a group of nonprofits, researchers and policy experts that works to help low-income families move from poor, segregated neighborhoods into diverse communities with high performing schools.
What sets BRHP apart?
BRHP is one of the few agencies who administer the housing choice voucher program on a regional scale. This regional administration removes one of the largest barriers for families who are seeking to make a potentially life-changing move.
BRHP’s pre- and post-move counseling programs are models for how to enable and sustain low-income families’ moves to high opportunity neighborhoods. During the pre-move period, participants attend counseling workshops and one-on-one sessions to help resolve credit and other financial issues necessary to become lease-ready for the private market in a higher-opportunity area. BRHP's staff of Housing Search Counselors provide one-on-one counseling and referrals to voucher holders, assisting each voucher holder until they successfully lease their new home. After the move, BRHP continues to provide support to ease the transition to new communities, help resolve conflicts with landlords, and build on the financial lessons learned during pre-move counseling.
Voucher program enhancements
Aside from the regional administration and counseling services, BRHP has made modifications to the core voucher program to enable and facilitate successful moves to high opportunity neighborhoods. These enhancements include generous voucher search time, enhanced payment standards, and security deposit assistance.