Baltimore City Paper

Baltimore’s Public Housing Worse Than We Thought?


New York Times


quotes Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano saying he needs $860 million to repair the agency's public housing units (HT

). It's part of a


and how one congressperson has proposed allowing what I'm gonna dub HUD HELOCs—private mortgages taken against the value of the land and buildings held by city housing agencies. Brilliant idea, that—if you think more money for scummy banks, extracted from taxpayers, is the answer to all our problems. But back to Baltimore. Nearly $1 billion? Just to fix them? And how many units is that? I was curious, so I rooted around the

and downloaded this 170-page

(PDF).  On page 10 it says the city has some 12,000 public housing units in its portfolio and would require about $168 million (about $14,000 per unit) to bring them up to spec. Still a lot of scratch. But an order of magnitude less than what the


is reporting.