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Don't refer to public housing as 'projects'

Don't disparage public housing by referring to developments as 'projects.'

Thank you for your coverage of last weekend’s efforts by a group of college students to volunteer their time in helping the Housing Authority of Baltimore City inform and educate residents about asthma prevention (“Students canvass Baltimore housing projects to deliver asthma, smoking cessation information,” Dec. 29). Helping HABC families live healthier lives is a very high priority for us.

However, it is preferred that the word “projects,” which was used in the story, be replaced when referring to the housing developments such as the ones where this outreach took place. There was a time when public housing sites were called “projects,” but over time that term became a pejorative, demeaning to the families who live there and placing a stigma on them. Today, we just call them communities or neighborhoods.

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As we have rebuilt some of our public housing and with plans to do much more, while also maintaining our older sites at a high standard, we would like for The Baltimore Sun to join in on what many of our community partners and stakeholders have already done and not use that negative term.

Janet Abrahams, Baltimore

The writer is executive director of the Housing Authority of Baltimore City.

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