About CHA

CHA - Single Family HomesCommunity Housing Associates (CHA) was established as an independent, housing development organization in 1989 through an initiative of the Baltimore Mental Health Systems (BMHS), a public, coordinating agency for mental health services in the City of Baltimore. CHA was launched with a major, five-year grant from the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.

In the twenty years since it began, CHA has developed, managed, or leased housing for more than 900 individuals and families with mental illness, using a wide range of public and private financing sources. CHA itself has developed 87 units of rental housing and currently houses an additional 140 individuals, leasing units from private landlords. CHA has an additional 17 units in the renovation process.  We serve individuals with very low incomes of 0-30% of area median income.  Our creative use of resources has ensured that no individual pays more than 30% of their income for housing.

More About Our Housing:

  • Community Housing Associates (CHA’s) housing units are geographically widely dispersed. Most are row homes or small, single-family detached homes.  They are located near public transportation, shopping areas and places of worship.
  •  CHA developed 51 units over time, through the creation of a limited partnership and nonprofit Charm City Housing, 18 West Read Street and 2301 N Charles Street Inc. Many of these units are subsidized through the Shelter Plus Care program (a HUD subsidy through Baltimore Homeless Services). Twenty-three of the units are subsidized through Project Based Section 8 Certificates.
  • CHA has developed 3 HUD 811 projects – consisting of 29 units in 7 buildings throughout Baltimore (Belair Manor, Glenmore Housing and Housing Associates, Inc). Two of the buildings serve as group homes and are operated by area service providers selected through a competitive RFP with Baltimore Mental Health Systems. The other 5 addresses (15 units) serve as apartments for single adults with mental illness.
  • CHA rents approximately 144 units from private landlords, which we then sublet to individuals and families. We rent these units utilizing Shelter Plus Care certificates, a federal subsidy for people with disabilities who are homeless. We were awarded 151 certificates by the City of Baltimore through a competitive process.

CHA has also been involved with or spearheaded the development of projects other than traditional residential:

  • Safe Haven II (aka the Ethel Elan Safe Haven) provides housing to homeless adults with mental illness in a low-pressure atmosphere, in the hopes that through housing, they might become engaged in services.
  • Harford Center – CHA, in partnership with On Our Own of Maryland, developed a drop-in center (Hartford Center) for adults with a psychiatric diagnosis.
  • HOPE Drop-In Center – CHA provides HOPE (Helping Other People through Empowerment) with program space for their drop-in center for homeless adults with mental illness.

Our Mission

Community Housing Associates’ mission is to provide affordable independent housing for individuals living with persistent mental illness and are homeless. We believe offering a safe and stable place to live is essential, particularly for those in our community who are experiencing homelessness because of mental health challenges. Through our affordable housing, individuals can access the resources they need to live independently.

It is the policy of Community Housing Associates (CHA) to comply with all federal, state, and local nondiscrimination laws and to operate in accordance with the rules and regulations governing Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity in housing and employment. We do not discriminate based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability, or familial status (having children under age 18), or any other legally protected characteristic. We do not interfere, threaten, or coerce persons in the exercise of their fair housing rights. We do not retaliate against persons who have asserted their rights or persons who have assisted someone in asserting their rights.