Mayor Brandon M. Scott introduces a guaranteed income pilot program to help combat the economic crisis from COVID-19 and support young parents hit the hardest. (Photo by Larry Crayton on Unsplash)

By AFRO Staff

Mayor Brandon M. Scott Administration made two crucial announcements this month regarding the use of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds in Baltimore City. 

A total of $100 million dollars will be invested into housing equity, with another $4.9 million going to support vendors as they return to a revitalized Lexington Market.

Mayor Scott said the announcement “builds on our efforts to increase housing stability by focusing on protecting Baltimore homeowners and renters, preserving housing gains and preventing blight, and supporting those projects that are primed to create pathways to equity and neighborhood transformation.”

Previously, the mayor announced a combined $90.4 million investment for Homeless Services – $75 million in ARPA funds and $15.4 million in HOME ARPA funds – to help those experiencing housing instability.

“My plan to provide housing-focused investment supports our long-term economic recovery as outlined in my Pillar goals for Equitable Neighborhood Development and Clean and Healthy Communities, protects seniors and vulnerable residents, and provides a holistic approach to addressing and reducing the number of vacant buildings,” he said. 

The funding will go towards housing initiatives designed to protect residents, prevent blight, create affordable housing initiatives, and implement vacancy recommendations made through Mayor Scott’s 30-day directive to address Baltimore’s vacant housing stock.

Scott worked alongside Congressman Kweisi Mfume, Chief Administrative Officer Christopher Shorter, Deputy Mayor of Community and Economic Development Ted Carter, Department of Housing and Community Development Commissioner Alice Kennedy, Chief Recovery Officer Shamiah Kerney of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs and numerous other partners and community members.

The ARPA allocation directly targets recommendations made by the City’s internal agency review on how to better address Baltimore’s vacant housing stock by: 

  • Providing funds for capital projects that transform vacant properties into reliable and affordable housing.
  • Addressing blight within the City’s seven Impact Investment Areas.
  • Improving the City’s permitting process to make it easier to rehabilitate vacant buildings and bring them back into productive use.
  • Preventing vacancies through expanding homeownership opportunities to renters and connecting legacy homeowners and older adults with supports for home upgrades to preserve the integrity of their properties. 

In addition to housing, Scott also announced the allocation of $4.9 million of Baltimore City’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The funding would be provided to complete the redevelopment of Lexington Market for the more than 45 diverse merchants who will call the new market home.

“These programs directly advance strategies of the Mayor’s Action Plan, like investing in formerly redlined neighborhoods, supporting legacy residents, and increasing our population with new Black and Brown, middle-income residents,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Ted Carter. “We are confident this holistic approach will revitalize communities that have long been neglected.”

“What the Mayor’s ARPA plan does is infuse funding into several existing programs and projects, providing support for these efforts to achieve a greater scale of impact and better deal with the economic hardship and housing instability caused by the pandemic,” said Housing Commissioner Alice Kennedy. “This set of coordinated strategies will help us address the dual challenges of disinvestment and middle- and moderate-income flight from Baltimore’s neighborhoods.”

The Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs will direct funds to the Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD), the Department of Planning (DOP), the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC) Live Baltimore, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (MONSE) and the Board of Municipal & Zoning Appeals (BMZA).   

 About the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided $641 million to the City of Baltimore in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and its negative economic impacts. Mayor Brandon M. Scott has established the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs to transparently and effectively administer this funding on behalf of the City. 

For the most up to date information regarding proposals, funded projects, and project progress visit our ARPA Reporting center at

Help us Continue to tell OUR Story and join the AFRO family as a member – subscribers are now members!  Join here!