Housing list cut may be restored

February 17, 1993|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,Staff Writer

Concerned that potential tenants were not properly notified of a purge of the waiting list for public housing, city housing officials may consider restoring some 17,000 names to the roster.

The Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City yesterday instructed a committee to study whether the authority should make an aggressive effort to contact the people who were deleted from the list of some 32,000 names.

Reginald Thomas, board chairman, said yesterday that the purge needs to be advertised and notices need to be posted at city homeless shelters, informing people of the purge.

He said the housing authority also should find whether it has current addresses for those on the list.

The board's action was taken in response to concerns raised by housing advocates at a meeting of the commissioners yesterday.

The committee that will study the purge was formed last year to study placement of public housing tenants. It is expected to report on its findings concerning the purge next month.

The purge began in September after a management review by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development concluded that the housing authority, which is federally funded, could not effectively manage the large list.

The housing authority mailed letters to the 32,000 names on the list, asking them to respond within two weeks -- an Oct. 19 deadline -- if they were still interested in public housing, or else they would be purged from the list.

About 6,000 letters were returned to the housing authority because of insufficient addresses and those letters were mailed again, a housing authority spokesman said.

Thus far, the list has been pared from 32,000 names to 15,000, said Gary Markowski, director of rental housing for the housing authority.

Local homeless advocates also protested the housing authority's two-week deadline.

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