Just What is the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis?

Public housing in Annapolis

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The Annapolis Housing Authority headquarters at 1217 Madison Street Annapolis, MD 21403. Photo: Annapolis Housing Authority

If you’re an Annapolis resident, you’ve probably heard of the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis, or HACA, but you may not understand its function.

HACA owns and manages 790 public housing units for low and moderate-income residents in six projects in Annapolis—Bloomsbury Square, Harbour House, Morris Blum Senior Apartments, Newtowne Twenty, Eastport Terrace and Robinwood.

HACA is a separate legal entity with strong ties to City government. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is its chief regulatory and governing entity. HACA’s Board of Directors, nominated by the Mayor and approved by the City Council, is responsible for its operations.  HACA submits annual audits to the City, reports quarterly to the City Council, and gets City approval of its plans and policies before submitting them to HUD. While the City occasionally funds its initiatives, HUD is its major funding source.

HACA’s housing units are some of the oldest and most deteriorated in the City. Federal funding for HACA operations has steadily declined, placing the Authority in severe fiscal stress.  Crime on and around its properties is a long-standing problem. To address maintenance and code violations, the City now inspects and licenses all its units.

Beginning a decade ago, HACA entered into public-private partnerships to convert four of its projects into two redeveloped properties with 253 units, Obery Court in the Clay Street area and Annapolis Gardens on Admiral Drive. In such partnerships, a private developer secures funding from State and Federal tax credits. After the project is redeveloped, the developer serves as the managing partner with HACA as a minority partner in property management. Though the new communities are not publicly owned they serve low and moderate-income residents.

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