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HABC Celebrates 75 Years of Providing Affordable Housing

BALTIMORE, MD (December 13, 2012) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano joined Housing Authority Baltimore City (HABC) employees and partners to commemorate the HABC milestone 75th anniversary. On December 13, 1937, HABC was created and became a pioneering vision that reshaped the city's landscape, replacing slum tenements with clean, safe and affordable housing for low-income families under then Mayor Howard Jackson. HABC has kept the promise of public housing alive by maintaining and modernizing its buildings and enriching the lives of its residents through innovative social services, recreational and educational programs, and job training initiatives.

"For 75 years, HABC has been committed to providing safe, affordable and quality housing for our city’s most vulnerable residents and encouraging self sufficiency," says Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "Today, it has evolved into an agency that maintains its mission while creating mixed income communities that will attract new residents as a part of my plan to bring 10,000 new households to Baltimore."

Since its beginning, HABC has expanded to include the Housing Choice Voucher Program, known as Section 8, which provides rental assistance to help those with disabilities, the elderly and low-income families. In the 1990’s, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development created the Hope VI Program to revitalize the worst public housing projects into mixed-income developments. The program made way for new communities that were less dense, pedestrian-friendly, and transit- accessible. Baltimore became the home of the country’s first Hope VI site, Pleasant View Gardens, a major accomplishment for HABC and the city. This massive effort also included Towns at the Terraces, Heritage Crossing, Broadway Overlook and Albemarle Square. All, but one of these developments, combine public housing, market rate rentals and home ownership. "Over the past 75 years, the work of HABC has been tremendous, but it is far from done," said Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano. "I’m most proud of the work we’ve done to preserve and expand housing choices throughout the entire region to ensure people get quality housing."

Currently, over 20,000 people make their homes in HABC public housing properties, and nearly 30,000 people participate in the Housing Choice Voucher Program.

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