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MODULE 3: LaQuida Chancey, Smalltimore Homes
Housing Insecurity


Each night in Baltimore approximately 2700 people are without a consistent or overnight place to live. For these residents, the barriers to affordable housing stem from historically discriminatory policies that segregated Blacks into overcrowded, underfunded communities and a systematic reduction in public housing units.  The goals of this module are for students to apply pre-requisite knowledge, skills, and concepts related to housing policy, federal loan programs, and key court decisions in order to state, comprehend, and evaluate the devastation of the anti-Black housing practices from both a business and human perspective.

Behavioral Objectives

After completing this module students should be able to…

  1. Identify the anti-Black private, public, and legal structures that created and sanctioned the following discriminatory practices in predominantly Black U.S. cities 

    • Red lining

    • Restrictive covenants

    • Deed restriction

    • Public housing demolition

    • "White Flight"

    • Section 8 housing voucher program

  2. Understand the cumulative impact that redlining, restrictive housing and deed covenants, and government funded public housing demolition have had on forced displacement and availability of public housing for Black and housing insecure individuals and families in Baltimore.

  3. Understand the relationship between poverty and food, health care and housing insecurity.

  4. Compare and contrast the additional burdens of housing insecurity on the following; families, children, LGBT, college students, persons with physical and emotional disabilities.

  5. Be prepared to refute the "common myths" of homelessness both verbally and in written form including; housing costs, employment, healthcare, and the perceived causes of homelessness.

  6. Compare and contrast the economic and social impact that historically anti-Black public housing practices have had on the investment and availability of housing for white and Black residents in and around Baltimore.

  7. Evaluate the intended and realized outcomes of historic and current local and federal programs like HOPE VI, McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, and the Fair Housing Act on the access safe, affordable housing in predominantly Black cities like Baltimore.

  8. Identify areas of need and opportunities that exist to create safe, affordable transitional and long term housing in cities like Baltimore.

  9. Identify how organizations, businesses, and institutions like Smalltimore Homes are using a user centered, community owned process to create an equitable system of transitional and long term housing.

  10. Demonstrate the personal growth and empathy required to make investments in entrepreneurs and companies that are creating transitional housing models. (in historically redlined neighborhoods.)

Interview with LaQuida Chancey, founder of Smalltimore Homes

Suggested Questions, Activities, Assignments, and Reflections

  1. Reflect on your views of people without secure housing. Where did those views or bias' come from? How have they changed? What information or experience has been most impactful in reframing your views of people without secure housing?

  2. After listening to LaQuida's story and his experience with investors “who may  not look like” him, how can you use the principle of curas personalis  to guide your journey to be a more empathetic and socially aware partner to Black entrepreneurs working to address historically racist and anti-Black structures and policies?

  1. Determine the monthly net income that a full-time hourly worker (40 hours) would make if they were earning the minimum wage and paying the taxes of your state/city. (Federal = $7.25; Maryland = $11.75). Calculate the amount of their monthly income that a worker should contribute to each of the following categories based on standardized percentages from a source like the Consumer Expenditure Survey. Compare your figures to the actual costs of these expenses in your area. How do these calculations and comparisons change for families, children, students, persons with physical and emotional disabilities.

    • Housing/Rent

    • Food

    • Medicine and medical care

    • Transportation

    • Utilities (heat, water, phone, TV, internet)

    • Personal care

    • Entertainment

    • Education

  2. Use your calculations in exercise #1 to determine the following

    • The number of hours that a minimum wage worker would have to work to "balance" their budget each month.

    • The amount that the minimum wage would need to be to allow full-time workers to balance their budget each month. This is the "living wage".

  3. Identify some of the choices that someone making the minimum wage would face to "balance" their budget. What impact would these have on their other expenses or ability to work or generate income?

  4. Identify the added economic and non-economic burdens and risks of housing insecurity on the following populations: Students, veterans, transgender persons and members of the LGBT community, persons with emotional and physical challenges, and persons formerly incarcerated.

  1. How have historically anti-Black policies like redlining, restrictive covanents, deed restriction, and demolition had on the availability of affordable housing in cities like Baltimore

  2. Evaluate the findings of the Fair Housing Act and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as well as government programs like HOPE VI and the Housing Choice Voucher Program that were proposed to provide more equitable access to quality public housing.

    • How have these programs impacted the number of affordable, safe housing units?

    • Compare the benefits and challenges for those who have ultimately bennefitted and been harmed by these programs

    • What are the alternatives for residents displaced from public housing units that have been demolished or re-developed?

    • What are the political, economic, and social influences that have been responsible for these results in cities like Baltimore?

  3. What are some of the organizations and resources available in your community to support the needs of people experiencing housing insecurity or at risk for housing insecurity?

  4. What are some of the current and historic institutional challenges and policies that organizations like Smalltimore Homes are facing to provide resources to create short and longterm affordable housing solutions?


  1. L.T. Brown. Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Baltimore, MD. 2021. pp 117-124, 131-163

  2. McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youths Program

  3. B. Duffield and L. Cohen. The Silent Crisis: Student Homelessness on the 30th Anniversary of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness July 13, 2017.

  4. Homelessness in Maryland. Myth Busting. . Health Care for the Homeless. 2021.

  5. A. Livingston. Living on a minimum wage. Is it possible in 2021? Money Crashers. September 20, 2021.

  6. T.L. Johnson. A homeless family's struggle to access resources in Baltimore. Baltimore Sun.

  7. M.E. Haskett, D. Kotter-Grühn, and S. Majumder. Prevalence and Correlates of Food Insecurity and Homelessness Among University Students. Journal of College Student Development 61(1), January-February 2020, pp. 109-114

  8. “Housing segregation and redlining in America: A short history | Code Switch | NPR,” 11-Apr-2018.

  9. Maryland Historical Society: History of Housing Discrimination and Redlining in Baltimore.

  10. The Fair Housing Act. United States Department of Justice.

  11. W. R. Roche, Jr. Housing plan found to do 'more harm than good' Baltimore Sun. June 28, 2002.

  12. S. Gantz. Residents, advocates worry Perkins Homes' redevelopment will reduce affordable units. Baltimore Sun. August 31, 2017.

  13. R. Wagner. Demolition begins on Perkins Homes, making way for East Baltimore redevelopment plan. Baltimore Sun. June 24, 2021.

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