Since 2012, BRHP has administered the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program, a regional housing voucher program that addresses racial and economic inequalities for low-income families across the region. Participants include former residents of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City and families within high poverty neighborhoods in Baltimore City. Because many participants are families, they benefit from the long-term educational, health, and economic opportunities afforded through housing mobility.
The core of the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program is the counseling program, which provides a range of benefits to participants, including financial literacy, landlord-tenant mediation, professional coaching and educational and health-related opportunities in their new neighborhood. Participants receive benefits for up to two years and during each stage of participation: pre-move, housing search, post-move and secondary-move if necessary. The program acts as an advocate for program participants, by engaging with property owners throughout the Baltimore region and educating them on the benefits and opportunities of renting to our housing voucher recipients.
Our counseling program consists of three components, to prepare participants to enter the housing rental market in high-opportunity areas, find a suitable unit, and adjust to life in a new community.
Pre-move counseling consists of a workshop series and a one-on-one session with a counselor. The workshop series are two-hour meetings— an orientation session, followed by six interactive workshops. These workshops include:
- Going for your Goals
- Credit Education
- Banking and Budgeting
- Home Maintenance
- Landlord-Tenant Relations
- Conducting a Successful Housing Search
BRHP also provides housing search assistance to new and existing voucher holders. Workshops are held once a month to help in the search process. At request, our housing search counselors provide unit tours to preview units and ensure the best fit for their lifestyle. Housing search counselors can also accompany participants to meetings with landlords to ask questions and facilitate the relationship.
BRHP administers two types of rental assistance programs through the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program, a Housing Choice Voucher Program: tenant-based vouchers and project-based vouchers. BRHP participants receive their tenant-based vouchers following the completion of their pre-move counseling requirements. BRHP administers project-based vouchers as a participant in the Baltimore Regional Project-Based Voucher Program with five other public housing agencies, and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC). The program provides housing vouchers to qualified and experienced developers for the development of affordable housing, including new construction, substantial rehabilitation, or existing housing. This effort encourages affordable housing development in areas of opportunity in the Baltimore region.
Counseling services do not end once transitioned to a new home; participants have two years of post-move counseling to support their tenancy and transition. Participants that make a also receive these additional services. We have post-move counselors who conduct routine check-ins by phone and in-person, mediate conflicts between tenants and landlords and provide support for other challenges.