Executive Summary

Introduction: Department of Housing and Community Development

This report contains a series of recommendations aimed at helping the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) improve neighborhoods in Baltimore. The Greater Baltimore Committee/Presidents’ Roundtable project team has not reviewed the program and policy choices that need to be made in allocating scarce resources to improve housing and neighborhood conditions, but instead has concentrated on the systems, procedures, and practices that need to be in place to successfully execute the policy direction chosen by the O’Malley Administration.

In developing these recommendations the project team interviewed over 160 Department staff members, reviewed existing procedures, examined operations and consulted with officials in other cities. There is, however, much that the project team was not able to look at in depth. In these cases, the project team has identified opportunities for further work. It should be noted that the project team chose not to review HCD’s Office of Homeless Services in order to avoid duplicating the efforts of the Baltimore City Task Force on Homelessness.

The overwhelming conclusion reached by the Greater Baltimore Committee/Presidents’ Roundtable project team is that HCD and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) are failing to achieve their mission of neighborhood recovery and stabilization. Both are in need of dramatic improvements in overall direction, management, administration, internal systems, programs, and budgeting. Critical operational areas appear to be barely functional, with the result that, in its current state, the ability of HCD and HABC to execute a key part of the O’Malley Administration’s agenda’the improvement of neighborhoods’is in question.

The project team is appreciative of the exceptional cooperation provided by the HCD management team.

Introduction: Department of Housing and Community Development
Background
Looming Challenges: Financial
Looming Challenges: Internal Structures and Systems
Recommendations and Projected Results