BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Citing the “overwhelming demand” for low-income housing in Baltimore and an average wait time of up to seven years, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City said it will stop taking public housing applications starting December 20.

“Unfortunately, our nation has been under-investing in public housing for many years,” said HABC President and CEO Janet Abrahams. “It is not a national priority. The result is a severe shortage. That is what we are contending with as we carry out our mission.”

Abrahams said the applicants at the top right now have been waiting for an average of five to seven years.

“We work very hard to serve as many households as possible but simply don’t have the resources to meet the tremendous need,” She added.

HABC attempted to streamline the waiting list earlier this year, which reduced total applications from 27,000 to 14,000, but said the wait time is still too long to accept new applications.

Baltimore residents who are on the waiting list and still need public housing are asked to tell HABC when their address or contact information changes, after HABC said it can be difficult to locate an applicant when their name rises to the top of the list.

HABC said it will continue to invest in developing new properties and financially supporting “like-minded developers” to create more affordable housing.

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