Volume 6 | March 5, 2021
Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership Quarterly Newsletter
"When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid.
The new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it."
- Amanda Gorman, The Hill We Climb
A message from the executive director
Carrying the momentum of change, innovation and creativity into the new year
For many of us, 2020 brought unexpected challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, compounded by enduring racial injustice and inequity brought to the forefront of our hearts and minds through mainstream media and mobilization in the streets of Baltimore and other major cities. These challenges of health and racial unrest highlighted the shortcomings of our society in providing equal protections and opportunity for all.

Now more than ever, we see that stable, quality, affordable housing is essential to our collective health. BRHP was proud to step up to the challenges of 2020 to meet the increased needs of the 14,000 individuals we serve. Take a look at our 2020 Annual Report which provides an overview of the state of our program, operations, activities, accomplishments, and financial standing in a year like no other.

As you will see in this newsletter, we have entered 2021 stronger, with expanded leadership, partnerships, advocacy efforts, and initiatives to deepen our reach to families who seek to safe, healthy, and economically vibrant communities. Throughout this year, we will focus our efforts on expanding new health, educational, and economic initiatives with the support of housing authorities, housing mobility partners, community organizations, foundations, donors, and our families.

Thank you for your continued interest, support, and partnership as we harness opportunities for bold changes that are long overdue towards the realization of fair and equitable housing and communities.

Adria Crutchfield
Meet our newest board members
Abhijeet Bhutra
Senior Investment Advisor, PNC Institutional Asset Management
Cheryl Boyer
Director of Diversity Services, Berkshire Associates
Tom Coale
Attorney, Talkin & Oh, LLP
Kris Marsh, PhD
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland, College Park
Monica Rhodes
Director of Resource Management, National Park Foundation
Rachel Thornton, MD, PhD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Introducing our new Client Advisory Board
The Client Advisory Board is a 12-member board of BRHP program participants who will serve a 12 to 18 month term to inform advancements to BRHP's Baltimore Housing Mobility Program, initiatives, and priorities. Members represent Baltimore County, Harford County, and Howard County, and range in ages and household composition. This month, we hosted the first board meeting and received warm reception, enthusiastic feedback, and new ideas, that we are confident will take our program and organization to new heights. Stay tuned for an opportunity to meet the members of the board. If you are a BRHP program participant interested in future consideration to serve on the Client Advisory Board, please complete this form.
Healing the "Black Butterfly" and flying together towards a better new normal
What I learned in conversation with Dr. Lawrence Brown
A record number of protests following the tragic deaths of Black people due to racism and bias during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic shook the nation and the world in 2020. It highlighted for some and reminded others of the inequalities and injustices that plague our society and disproportionately impact Black people. While Black people from all walks of life are impacted by racism and oppression, historically segregated, redlined Black neighborhoods in cities across America bear the brunt of surveillance, disinvestment, and displacement that results in a consistent loss of Black life. We've heard the names, or know the people, and we see ourselves in the names, hashtags, and stories from today and yesterday. Read more.
Join our team
Human Resources/Payroll Generalist
BRHP is seeking a Human Resources/Payroll Generalist (HR/Payroll Generalist) who is aligned and highly dedicated to the mission above and experienced in nonprofit or government human resources operations. The HR/Payroll Generalist will play an integral role in our continued growth and success. Under the supervision of the Financial Operations Director, the HR/Payroll Generalist is responsible for a variety of daily operations including payroll processing, HRIS management, assisting with benefits administration, as well as HR reporting and special projects. This is an outstanding opportunity for someone who is passionate about strong administrative processes that benefit BRHP team members and who has the ability to work both independently and collaboratively, while also prioritizing a diverse workload.

Helpful hints
Get help with your taxes
Free Tax Assistance | Financial Education - CASH...

The RELIEF Act includes direct payments for low to moderate income Maryland taxpayers who claimed and received the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on their 2019 Maryland State Tax Return.Learn more and see if you qualify by clicking here for more ...

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You may qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a benefit for working people with low to moderate income. If you qualify for the federal earned income tax credit and claim it on your federal return, you may be entitled to a Maryland earned income tax credit on the state return equal to 50% of the federal tax credit. The Maryland EITC will either reduce or eliminate the amount of the state and local income tax that you owe.

Property Partners, we need your help!
We understand how challenging times are economically for many. We want to be able to assist our families and address missing rent payments as efficiently as possible. As a BRHP Property Partner, you can help. We've created a Non-Payment of Rent Report Form on our website and encourage you to use it to inform BRHP staff if one of your BRHP-assisted tenants is late or past-due on their rental portion. Thank you for your partnership as we work together to ensure a successful tenancy in this challenging time.

Up next
Our advocacy
The legislative season is in full swing and local and state officials are tackling housing issues exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. On February 18, the Maryland House of Delegates announced a legislative package designed to address critical housing issues facing Maryland communities. BRHP testified in support of several city and state legislation that will strengthen housing security for community members.
HB1312: Improved data collection methods on eviction filings
BRHP's Sam Hemley provided testimony in support of HB1312 that would improve data collection methods on eviction filings. Specifically, the bill would require the Department of Housing and Community Development, in consultation with the Maryland Judiciary and local sheriffs and constables, to collect, maintain, and publish on the Departments' website certain information on eviction actions.

"An important part of my job is developing a thorough understanding of the neighborhood and property conditions throughout Central Maryland. I depend on public data sources where possible. One indicator for which we would very much like to have a reliable data source is the eviction filing rate. For the purposes of our program, it is important to understand where landlords are following a business model based on serial evictions and displacement rather than on preservation of quality, reasonably priced rental housing," Sam testified.

"HB1312 would get Maryland up to speed and enable responsible, evidence-based allocation of state funds."
CB 21-004: Office to End Homelessness and Permanent Housing Voucher Program
Last fall, BRHP supported a Baltimore City Council bill to create an Office to End Homelessness and a permanently funded housing voucher program. Unfortunately, then-Mayor Jack Young failed to sign the legislation and it failed. In February, the Council reintroduced the bill, and BRHP testified in support of the critical measure. On February 23, BRHP's Pete Cimbolic testified in support of CB 21-0004.

"Transitioning households from Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) to voucher-based rental assistance will open up valuable capacity for moving others experiencing homelessness into PSH and provide a route for those transitioning from PSH to the private market," said Pete.

"While starting a new voucher program may seem daunting, Baltimore City has access to many resources to get started. There is expertise in this domain from mission-driven entities like BRHP, which provides technical assistance to programs throughout the country, to for-profit consultant groups who have long histories of providing technical assistance and administering voucher programs large and small."
New legislative package designed to address housing...

ANNAPOLIS - A legislative package designed to address critical housing issues facing Maryland communities has been announced. "The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an incredible amount of strain on families across the state," said Speaker Jones....

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What we are reading
Implementing Creating Moves to Opportunity

Creating Moves to Opportunity greatly increased the number of families with young children leasing in areas with high upward income mobility in the Seattle area. It offered education, coaching, housing search assistance, landlord engagement, and...

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FCC approves internet subsidy program providing $50...

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved guidelines Thursday for a new internet subsidy program that would provide low-income families with funds for their internet bills during the pandemic. Under the FCC's Emergency Broadband...

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Covid-19 caused a recession. So why did the housing...

Covid-19 plunged the United States into a recession, leaving millions of Americans out of work and hungry. In the middle of this crisis, the housing market boomed. Between September 2019 and September 2020, homeowners accumulated a collective $1...

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The Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership (BRHP) helps families with low incomes, who have historically been excluded from housing in neighborhoods of their choice, access and transition successfully to safe, healthy, and economically vibrant communities. Since becoming the formal administrator of the Baltimore Housing Mobility Program, which couples Housing Choice Voucher administration with counseling supports, BRHP has helped over 5,000 families with young children improve their quality of life as they search for new homes.