Empire Homes of Maryland, Inc. (EHM) is a Baltimore City 501(c)(3) organization and community development corporation that is dedicated to providing housing and supportive services to the city’s homeless, disabled, and extremely low-income. EHM was founded in 2005 by our parent organization, AIDS Interfaith Residential Services, Inc. (AIRS), which provides wrap-around supportive services for EHM’s residents, such as case management, life skills training, and workforce development.
EHM’s role is to develop, manage, and maintain housing solely for AIRS’ residents. AIRS seeks to achieve measurable impacts such as increases in employment, income, use of entitlements, education, health outcomes, life skills training, and subjective outcomes like an increase in residents’ personal stability, self-esteem, and self-reliance. All of our homes serve residents earning 30% of less of the Area Median Income.
EHM serves over 400 households per year. These households include projects where we own and manage the property, projects where we retain an equity interest in the ongoing operation of the project, or subsidies we mange with third-party landlords. In the past six years our portfolio expanded to include a 42-unit LIHTC new construction (Restoration Gardens 2), a 189-unit RAD project in partnership with Homes for America (Chase House), 4 scattered site rowhouses for homeless families (EHM@Coldstream), Lillian Jones Apartments (74 units of new construction in 2013), EHM@Calvert(scattered site rehab at 6 addresses comprising $2.9M in development), and EHM@Harwood, scattered site rehab at two addresses in the Harwood neighborhood.
EHM uses operating subsidies such as HOPWA, Project Based Section 8, and Shelter Plus Care, and capital support such as Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Federal Home Loan Bank grants, Project CORE, Shelter and Transitional Housing Funds, MAHT, Strategic Demolition Funds, Baltimore HOME and Community Bond funds, grants from Foundations like Weinberg and TD Charitable Trust, and many other sources. Development costs are around $150,000 a unit, including developer’s fees and project reserves. We keep all units in compliance for at least 15 years. Since our founding in 2005 we have never sold a property and do not intend on doing so anytime soon.
In addition to development services, EHM manages more than 400 scattered site housing units with 10 different operating subsidies. This includes properties in EHM’s ownership, as well as contracts with third party landlords to place Shelter Plus CARE and HOPWA residents in housing. All property management staff are Housing Quality Standard (HQS) Certified. EHM provides a case management sensitive approach to property development and management—this includes special attention to unit accessibility and ADA construction, access to service providers, public transportation, and other amenities. EHM conducts quarterly property inspections where proactive property maintenance issues are addressed and the living conditions of the resident are assessed. Inspection reports are generated and provided to the case manager of the resident.