Release: MOHS is Making Progress on Homeless Client Services, Audit Follow Up Finds
Monday Aug 7th, 2023
204 City Hall - Baltimore Maryland 21202
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Geoff Shannon, Public Relations Officer
Baltimore, Md. - The Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services (MOHS) has made partial progress on improving barriers to clients obtaining permanent housing, but still had work to do, according to a Follow Up report released by the Department of Audits (DOA).
City Auditor Josh Pasch presented the MOHS Follow Up report to the Board of Estimates at its August 2nd meeting.
In a 2019-2020 Biennial Performance Review, DOA found that that it took 248 days on average to move a homeless client into permanent housing due to various agency issues, including obtaining personal records and a lack of housing options. The goal established by the National Alliance to End Homelessness is 30 days.
Five recommendations were made to MOHS to improve these processes; the Follow Up report found that of these, two were not implemented by MOHS; while three were only partially implemented
DOA recommended, and MOHS agreed, to develop a reporting system to help track client activities from application through the housing process that includes specific dates and milestones. This process would help identify lag times and performance gaps, while also providing performance baseline lines. The Follow Up report found there is no report currently in place to capture this client activity.
DOA found that among the three partially implemented recommendations MOHS:
- Followed through to help obtain birth certificates and photo ID. However, obtaining Social Security documentation to help clients is still a challenge.
- Created two housing identification specialist positions to help build relationships with landlords, property owners, and management companies to help increase the supply of affordable housing. MOHS held meetings to identify 2,500 affordable housing properties, however a permanent housing inventory has not been established.
- Provided evidence of a working plan, established in conjunction with the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD), to identify underperforming project, reallocate funds when necessary and increase the supply of affordable housing.
“MOHS has one of the toughest jobs of any of our City agencies, using limited resources and personnel to aid some of our most vulnerable residents who are experiencing homelessness,” Comptroller Bill Henry said. “This is an area we’ll continue to check in and work with MOHS to follow through on.”
A full copy of the MOHS Follow Up report and related materials can be found at the Comptroller’s website.
The Department of Audits (DOA) is the City's independent auditor, providing various audits, attestation engagements, and assurance services with the overall goal of improving government accountability. DOA is part of the Office of the Comptroller.