Equity in housing and community development must begin with acknowledgement that the history of slavery and institutional racism is undeniably woven into the fabric of present conditions. The challenge is to ensure that the past does not define the future.
The Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) is committed to equitable community development that benefits all Baltimoreans. This approach requires that we understand and commit to redress the long-standing race-based barriers and policies that have devastated neighborhoods, concentrated poverty, and created an affordable housing crisis.
In understanding equity, we have a tremendous opportunity to “get community development right.” This means:
- Ensuring community voices are central to shaping neighborhood redevelopment;
- Minimizing the displacement that can occur with rising values;
- Supporting existing homeowners and residents to help them stay in their homes;
- Maximizing Baltimoreans’ access to jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities created by reinvestment;
- Prioritizing affordable housing in neighborhood revitalization efforts from the outset, not as an afterthought, and
- Building an internal team that has the capacity to succeed and the willingness to be relentlessly accountable.
With this approach, there is a commitment to equity and inclusive redevelopment from the start.