Addressing Disinvestment, Gentrification and Displacement

Our Community of Practice on Homelessness brings together 200+ community, institutional and corporate leaders to build alliances and discover new tools to end homelessness and address racial health disparities.

Part 1 | Part 2

Topic 6 

Part 1: Addressing Disinvestment, Gentrification and Displacement

A conversation with:

  • Alice Kennedy – Commissioner, Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development
  • Nick Mosby – City Council President, Baltimore City Council
  • Cheryl Washington, Esq. – President & CEO, East Baltimore Development Corporation
  • Kevin Lindamood – President & CEO, Health Care for the Homeless

Together we explored:

  • Why are the triple related issues of disinvestment, gentrification, and displacement are so difficult to confront and address?
  • What does investing in people - rather than commercialization or development - entail and how do you imagine this investment will help to address the negative effects of disinvestment?
  • What are the dominant narratives that we often hear about in Baltimore community development and revitalization? How do we interject counter-storytelling into these narratives to create restitution for communities of color?
  • In what ways can displacement serve as a “good thing,” and what can potentially be lost by residents of these communities even with such a “progressive” form of displacement? If this approach is successful, why do individuals and families still suffer from the realities of displacement, even to the extent of becoming homeless?
  • Where and how do we begin this work of addressing disinvestment, gentrification, and displacement?
  • How do we move from a place of reformist to revolutionary actions when addressing disinvestment, gentrification, and displacement?

From our panelists:

"Even with the positive aspects of displacement, there's a loss of history, dignity and community. Whenever we move people of color without choice, it’s steeped in racism and it’s always going to be a problem.” - Cheryl Washington

"You can go to east or west Baltimore and identify families that have been here for generations, but never owned property. Let's talk about investing in people through homeownership and building generational wealth," - Nick Mosby

“We need to protect our legacy residents, look at the intersection of health and housing and how it impacts communities and have clear anti-displacement housing policy." - Alice Kennedy

Part 2: Addressing Disinvestment, Gentrification and Displacement

A conversation with:

  • Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins – Director, US Housing and Urban Development Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships
  • Joseph T. Jones, Jr. – President and CEO, Center for Urban Families
  • Thibault Manekin – Co-founder, Seawall Development
  • Randi Woods, MS, MBA, RN – Sr. Director of Community Care Coordination, Sisters Together and Reaching (STAR)
  • Kevin Lindamood – President & CEO, Health Care for the Homeless

From our panelists:

"We need to change the idea that institutions are inherently right in making decisions for communities. We have the voices in communities that can make the case for what they want and need clearly." - Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins

"Racism is insidious, intentional and tied to power structures. In the Penn-North community, you have check cashing services everywhere, but not banks. Racism is built into the soil - the soil is tainted and must be removed." - Joseph T. Jones

"The problem with development is that we go in with our own idea of what we want to see. That is not how development should work. It should work for and with the communities that we’re in; it should not happen to them." - Thibault Manekin 

"Invest in self reflection. Ask, 'how do I show up?' and, 'how do we show up at the grass roots level to create change and advocate for investment?' And when we get that investment, 'how do we avoid pushing people out?'" - Randi Woods, MS, MBA, RN


Learn more about our panelists:

Commissioner Alice Kennedy - Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development 

Alice Kennedy joined DHCD in 2016 as Deputy Commissioner (DC) for Homeownership and Housing Preservation. She served as Acting Commissioner (AC) from August 2020 until appointed Commissioner in September 2021. Kennedy has a background in community engagement, energy programs, legislative review and policy, real estate, and sustainability. As DC, she oversaw the Weatherization Program, Lead Hazard Reduction Program, Office of Rehabilitation Services, Office of Homeownership, Tax Sale Prevention, Summer Food Program, Baltimore Energy Challenge, and Baltimore Energy Initiative. As AC, she helped leverage funding for senior housing upgrades, secured more funding for lead hazard reduction, led the Agency in awarding Affordable Housing Trust Fund priorities and delivered a second round of DHCD Community Catalyst Grants, bringing more than $20 million to the marketplace over the course of one year. Ms. Kennedy earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from Goucher College.

Council President Nick Mosby - Baltimore City Council

City Council President Nick J. Mosby is a native son of Baltimore City. As a Councilman starting in 2011, he created a mentoring program for juveniles awaiting trial as adults and passed legislation banning the requirement of criminal records on job applications. During the Baltimore unrest, Nick argued that the rioting was the result of years of neglect of Baltimore’s youth, lack of employment opportunities and poverty. In 2017, Nick was appointed to Maryland’s House of Delegates and won election in 2018. He passed legislation to allocate financial aid for GED recipients, enact fair hiring laws and end the practice of taking property based on late water bills. He served on the Ways and Means Committee and as Chair of the Election Law Subcommittee. Nick graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and earned his Electrical Engineering degree at Tuskegee University. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and worships at New Psalmist Baptist Church of Baltimore.

Cheryl Washington, Esq - East Baltimore development incorporation

Cheryl Washington is President and CEO of East Baltimore Development, Inc. (EBDI), which is the nonprofit organization charged with overseeing the $1.8 billion revitalization of an 88-acre portion of East Baltimore. Ms. Washington was appointed President & CEO in 2018 but has been with EBDI since 2004, providing leadership on every aspect of the organization by always keeping the organization’s core values—like economic inclusion, local hiring, affordable housing, public arts and food access—at the forefront of every decision. She graduated magna cum laude from Norfolk State University and later received her J.D. from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Ms. Washington currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the East Baltimore Community School and the Advisory Board of Fulton Bank, National Association. She has been a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. since 1992.

moderator: Kevin lindamood, MSW - President & CEO, Health care for the homeless

Kevin Lindamood has worked for over 20 years at the intersection of homelessness and health. He has been an outreach worker, clinician, community organizer, advocate—and since 2011, the CEO of Maryland’s leading provider of integrated health services for people experiencing homelessness. Lindamood serves on Maryland’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, as the Governance Committee Chair for The Journey Home: Baltimore’s Continuum of Care and as the Policy Committee Co-Chair for Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore. He holds an MSW from the University of Michigan, a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University and is a graduate of the Greater Baltimore Committee Leadership Program.