Geanna Franqui, The NHP Foundation

Hollander Ridge is a blueprint for how to eliminate blight and increase affordable housing in desirable neighborhoods.

The NHP Foundation (NHPF) rehabilitated 94 single-family rental homes in “neighborhoods of opportunity” in Baltimore, creating housing options for families earning up to 50% of the area median income. These are replacement homes for families of public housing that was demolished in the 1990s.

This unique rehab stems from a decades-old class action lawsuit brought on behalf of public housing residents who alleged a violation of the fair housing laws by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC). Finally settled in 2003, the lawsuit found the housing authority was not liable, but the agency, HUD, and the plaintiffs came together on this redevelopment concept.

Leading the effort, NHPF and HABC acquired the one- to four-bedroom homes as each one came on the market. The properties are in diverse communities with high-performing schools, low crime, low rates of poverty, and neighborhood amenities. Five homes are fully accessible for residents with disabilities, and two are designed for residents with visual or hearing disabilities.

Geanna Franqui, The NHP Foundation

“It’s what we all envision affordable housing to look like,” says Mansur Abdul-Malik, NHPF vice president of development. “Regardless of your income status, you have access to the best for your family. There’s also a level of anonymity there, too. The housing doesn’t look any different from others. You wouldn’t know which ones are affordable.”

A resident services coordinator offers one-on-one outreach to the families of the scattered-site development. “We’re going to them so it’s much more intensive services whereby we can focus on their needs,” says Abdul-Malik.Financing for the $41.4 million project included an approximately $18 million federal HOPE VI grant.