Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden says he expects to meet soon in Washington with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry G. Cisneros to discuss local objections to the controversial Moving to Opportunity program.
Mr. Hayden said Mr. Cisneros called Wednesday to propose the meeting. Yesterday, he said, he mailed the secretary videotapes of TV news clips of the raucous MTO protest meetings held in eastern Baltimore County this summer.
He said the tapes will give federal officials a sense of local outrage over the program, which will disperse 285 residents of city housing projects to private rental units in Baltimore City and surrounding counties.
The program created an election year uproar in Eastside communities, where residents, politicians and community leaders called it a conspiracy by city and federal officials to dump thousands of low-income city residents in their neighborhoods.
MTO's backers said the program's purpose is to disperse carefully screened poor families into neighborhoods with access better schools, homes and jobs.
A meeting will be scheduled after Mr. Cisneros reviews tapes and other materials the county has sent, Mr. Hayden said yesterday.
The Republican executive said he plans to pursue a legal effort to block Baltimore's participation in the program. The county is arguing that the city's Housing Authority is unqualified to disburse $12.5 million in federal Section 8 rental certificates under the MTO program because of several critical federal audits over the past several years.