Take a Stand! Demand Affordable Housing for All!

                                  Photo credit: Right to the City Housing Alliance/Flickr/Creative Commons  

 

In 2008, the housing collapse affected thousands of Marylanders, causing foreclosures and loss of wealth. Many families are now struggling to find affordable housing, especially Black and Hispanic households who have been hit the hardest by the economic crisis.

 

That’s why the ACLU of Maryland is asking supporters to demand that the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development move forward with fair housing plans.

 

The Baltimore County Council recently passed a resolution blocking a plan for an affordable townhome development in Rosedale. This proposed development would not only provide 50 townhomes, but it would also be the first newly constructed affordable family housing in Baltimore County since 1999.

 

Debate about the proposed development raised harmful, stereotypical ideas of people living in affordable housing units. The tenor was so extreme it sparked a rebuke from County Executive Kevin Kaminetz, who supports the project. After Baltimore County's veto resolution, the ball is now squarely in the state's court.

 

The ACLU and our allies in the Baltimore Regional Housing Campaign are calling on Secretary Raymond Skinner to chart a new path toward fair housing in Maryland, starting in Rosedale.

 

In a piece aptly titled “Baltimore County’s Housing Exclusion Continues,” veteran reporter Barry Rascovar of Maryland Reporter outlines the shameful history of Baltimore County’s resistance to subsidized housing, a futile effort to deny African Americans affordable housing choices and keep them bottled up in Baltimore City.

 

In support of fair housing and the Rosedale development, Baltimore Sun columnist Dan Rodricks, said “providing housing for low-income families in Baltimore County has less to do these days with making room for ‘outsiders’ than it does with serving those who are already there and looking for a decent place to live."

 

The Baltimore Sun’s Editorial Board has also weighed in, saying many residents "were living paycheck to paycheck before the 2008 recession, and they fell into poverty after losing a job or suffering a major financial setback. At the same time, the slow economic recovery that followed has left them unable to dig themselves out. Every jurisdiction in the region has a stake in supporting programs aimed at getting such people off the streets and into permanent housing."

 

Tell Secretary Skinner to press for fair and affordable housing for families, starting in Rosedale.

 

Photo credit: Right to the City Housing Alliance/Flickr/Creative Commons