HUD Mandates ‘Affordable Housing’ in Affluent Baltimore Suburbs

Susan Jones, CNS News, March 25, 2016

The Obama administration has started its push to expand low-income housing into “higher opportunity areas.”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development last week announced a “landmark” settlement agreement with Baltimore County that will serve as a catalyst to “promote housing mobility” and “address residential segregation.”

The goal is to move low- and very-low-income people out of the city and into the suburbs.

“Every person deserves a fair shot at opportunity, and that starts with a decent, safe, and affordable place to call home,” HUD Secretary Julián Castro said in the March 15 announcement. “This agreement sets Baltimore County on a path to stronger, more inclusive communities where everyone can enjoy equal access to opportunity.”

The agreement stems from a complaint filed with HUD in 2011 by the Baltimore County branch of the NAACP; a fair housing group; and three individuals who claimed Baltimore County had failed to “affirmatively further fair housing.”

To settle that complaint, HUD is requiring Baltimore County to spend $30 million ($3 million annually for ten years) to create 1,000 affordable housing units, either through new construction or rehabilitation.

The units will be geographically dispersed in “neighborhoods that provide access to opportunity.” {snip}

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In addition, the county must provide 2,000 Housing Choice Vouchers to help families gain access to “higher opportunity neighborhoods.”

The county must “proactively market the units to potential tenants who are least likely to apply, including African Americans families and families with a member who has a disability.”

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