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Residents to begin moving out of section of Baltimore's Gilmor Homes to clear way for demolition

Residents to begin moving out of section of Baltimore's Gilmor Homes to clear way for demolition
A section of Gilmor Homes will be demolished under a plan to address crime in the West Baltimore community. (Yvonne Wenger / Baltimore Sun)

More than 100 families will begin moving out of the Gilmor Homes public housing complex in May to clear the properties for demolition under a plan to address crime in the West Baltimore community.

The Housing Authority of Baltimore City calls the 600-unit complex “one of its older and most challenging sites.” Six of the buildings with 132 units on Spray Court, Vincent Court and Bruce Court will torn down as soon as the families are moved out, opening up the site to make it harder for people to hide illegal activity, according to the agency.

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The 102 families being relocated have received one-on-one counseling sessions to help them find new homes. The housing authority will pay their relocation costs.

Meetings with the remaining families will be held later this year to discuss how to use the vacant land, said Janet Abrahams, the housing authority’s director. She said the remaining units will receive upgrades, including new windows and lighting.

Abrahams called the demolition a “short-term solution to address residents’ concerns over safety.”

“We are reducing the density of the property; however, our longer-term intention is to come back and work with the community on a more strategic approach to redeveloping this property,” she said in a statement.

The city announced the plans in January 2018. At the time, Mayor Catherine Pugh called the buildings being torn down a hotbed for criminal activity.

The complex in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood was the site of Freddie Gray’s arrest in 2015.

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