Bon Secours Baltimore Health System (BSBHS) is committed to helping to provide safe, affordable housing in west Baltimore, allowing families to move beyond this basic need to foster collective well-being. Beginning in 1988 by renovating properties close to the hospital, BSBHS' housing initiatives have been managed by its Unity Properties subsidiary. Today, Unity Properties manages 648 family and senior housing units in seven community developments. BSBHS properties are strategically located to promote quality of life. All are within walking distance of BSBHS itself, churches, the Bon Secours Community Works center, public bus and rail transportation, as well as shopping, recreation, and neighborhood green space.
BSBHS neighborhood revitalization efforts began with the Operation ReachOut Southwest (OROSW) coalition's physical development and community engagement priorities in 1995. BSBHS is currently involved in the Southwest Partnership, a coalition of seven neighborhoods and six anchor institutions (including Bon Secours) that has built upon previous strategic, community-guided plans (such as the OROSW plan and coalition) for the development of dynamic mixed-income housing, thriving shopping areas, and safe and vibrant public spaces.
This housing development furthers BSBHS' health care goals by developing, managing and preserving housing opportunities for those in need. Each of the six senior buildings is served by a resident services coordinator who develops creative new ways to ensure residents' needs are met. One such effort is the opening of a new branch of the "Virtual Supermarket," providing on-line access and free delivery of fresh produce and other grocery items from a local grocery store to residents at Wayland Village Senior Apartments.
Program results include: 119 families and 530 seniors are provided safe affordable housing each year, and an additional 80 units for families are currently under construction; leveraged more than $105 million in new construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing; and created three "green" senior and family housing facilities, each of which has either attained LEED Silver or Enterprise Green Communities certification. Since 2004, the program has provided housing counseling for more than 200 prospective homebuyers in partnership; six employees have participated in Live Near Your Work; and 25 individuals have purchased homes.
BSBHS continues to strive for more than simply functional housing to help nurture a sense of community investment and quality of life that fosters dignity, hope and a future.
BSBHS plans to increase its housing portfolio to a sustainable level (this is defined by achieving a scale sufficient to produce asset management and other fees sufficient to support the operations of Unity Properties without a need for additional grant and/or development fee income); open an additional 80 units in summer 2016; open another 80 units in 2017; increase community development presence; and improve the quality/ensure future viability of existing housing.
Contact: Judith Carmichael
Director, Marketing & Public Relations