Mayor Brandon M. Scott is keeping his promise on a commitment he announced three years ago for Baltimore, MD.

The Baltimore Banner reports that Scott’s administration as secured a deal to buy the Sleep Inn & Suites Downtown Inner Harbor and the Holiday Inn Express Baltimore-Downtown that are set to be transformed into long-term shelter space for Baltimore residents who are unhoused.

“Glad to have reached a deal to purchase these two hotels to significantly expand our ability to address the needs of Baltimore’s most vulnerable residents,” Scott wrote in an Instagram post. 

He continued, “Thanks to @baltimoremohs, @recoverbmore, and all of our partners for working to secure a fair deal for the city. #ARPAinAction.

The Baltimore Banner details that the Sleep Inn & Suites has 62 rooms, and the Holiday Inn has 90 beds within 68 rooms. The outlet also notes that the city still needs additional shelters as the number of bedrooms acquired ended up being lower than the initial goal of 100 to 200 rooms per hotel to support 600 residents.

While the number of those experiencing homelessness in Baltimore declined 3% in 2023, a slight drop from the prior year, the national total spiked by 12%, according to an annual estimate from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition, evictions in Maryland have been on the rise since 2023, per state judiciary data.

According to the outlet, Baltimore homelessness officials wanted for the hotels deal to have occurred at a sooner date. However, the delay seems to have stemmed from the Scott administration’s efforts to ensure the selected sites were “high quality,” “safe,” and could be turned into long-term housing units.

“We can keep adding and adding and adding shelter all day long, but all we’re doing is warehousing people at that point,” Jeff Garrett, chair of Baltimore’s Continuum of Care board, said when addressing the need for long-term solutions.

The next step for the shelters is having Baltimore’s spending board approve the $18 million purchase agreement, which includes $15.2 million for the hotels themselves. Additionally, “$3.2 million [will go] to the current management group for nine months of maintenance and operations.”