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Baltimore City finalizes purchase of hotels to house the homeless

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(Baltimore, MD) -- Baltimore City is using federal COVID relief money to purchase a pair of hotels to house the homeless.

Mayor Brandon Scott announced the city will pay $15.2 million to buy the Sleep Inn and Suites and Holiday Inn Express along North Front and Gay streets near the south end of the Jones Falls Expressway.

“The acquisition of these hotels is a critical expansion of our ability to address the needs of our most vulnerable residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “The Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs, the Mayor’s Office of Infrastructure Development, the Department of Real Estate, and other critical partners worked diligently to secure a fair deal for the city. We expect the deal to move through the Board of Estimates process in the coming days and put my Administration in a position to add meaningful and immediate capacity to our emergency shelter system.”

“The lack of affordable housing has significantly contributed to the increase in people experiencing homelessness around the country and right here in Baltimore City. This purchase aligns with our commitment to address immediate shelter needs, as well as put the city on a path to create permanent supportive housing opportunities for our most vulnerable populations in the near future,” said Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services Director Ernestina Simmons. “I am grateful to Mayor Scott and all of our partners for recognizing the value of this opportunity as we work to make homelessness rare and brief in Baltimore City.”

The Baltimore Board of Estimates will consider the deal next week, which includes paying more than $3 million to the seller to manage the hotels.

The money comes from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The City is expected to close on the properties and the management agreement no later than Spring 2024.

24/7 News Source contributed to this article.