Another large chunk of federal housing money is on its way to Baltimore.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced yesterday that the city will receive $22.5 million to redevelop the Hollander Ridge public housing complex in East Baltimore and to tear down the long-vacant Fairfield Homes development in South Baltimore.
That money is in addition to $72 million HUD has awarded to Baltimore to demolish and rebuild the Lexington Terrace and Lafayette Courts public housing high-rise towers.
Baltimore was one of 74 cities to share yesterday in nearly $716 million in new HUD grants to demolish nearly 17,000 public housing units and build about 4,000 new units.
The grants are part of a federal housing strategy to knock down aging, dangerous and decrepit projects and replace them with townhouse communities with stronger security, tougher screening of residents and on-site training in computers, telecommunications and job skills.
The $20 million awarded for Hollander Ridge is slightly more than half the $37.5 million Baltimore had asked for to demolish hundreds of units and to renovate hundreds more, including some to be offered to new homebuyers. The city had planned a $68 million refurbishing of the nearly 1,000 units at the 59-acre site that borders Rosedale in Baltimore County, including city, state and private funds.
With fewer federal dollars, "We've got to rethink what we can and can't do," Daniel P. Henson III, executive director of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City, said yesterday.
Included in the city's plan is a proposal to demolish the public housing units along O'Dell Avenue, where some county residents and officials want to construct a security fence at a cost of as much as $1 million.
The city has begun advertising for bids for the fence and has promised to pay up to $350,000 toward its cost. However, Henson said the redevelopment funds "obviate, I think, the need for the fence."
County officials disagreed, saying the county intends to make good on its promise to build the barrier despite the grant award.
"Our plan is to go forward," said Michael H. Davis, spokesman for Baltimore County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger.
The $2.5 million awarded for Fairfield Homes will go to demolition of 300 low-rise units on 20 acres in the middle of the city's multimillion-dollar federal empowerment zone revitalization area. Plans are to market the site as part of an ecological-industrial park, where one business' waste would be another's raw materials.
Henson said he hoped the demolition could be completed by early next year -- a timetable welcomed by those championing the redevelopment of the long-neglected industrial area.
"That sounds great," said Ian Neuman, an executive at Abbey Drum Co. in Fairfield and a member of the board overseeing the xTC $100 million empowerment zone effort. "That would be a positive sign that things are starting to happen."
Also yesterday, HUD awarded Baltimore $3.3 million more in rental certificates for poor families. Last week, the city received a $1.2 million HUD grant to coordinate services to homeless people who have been diagnosed with the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
Pub Date: 10/09/96