Howard County Council Introduces Bill to Spread Affordable Housing

The Howard County Council has proposed new legislation to address concerns as to the concentration of affordable housing in the county. As reported in The Baltimore Sun:

The bill, which was co-sponsored by all five council members, would limit where new affordable housing projects can be located by requiring the county’s Department of Housing and the Housing Commission to plan and build projects in areas of the county where the poverty rate is less than 10 percent, according to census data.

In those pockets of the county, the bill would also require that fees paid by developers in lieu of providing a required quota of moderate income housing units for new residential projects could be used only to fund the county’s settlement downpayment and rehabilitation loan programs.

Finally, the bill would expand the parameters of the county’s Housing and Community Development Rehabilitation Loan Fund so that loans could be used not only for essential repairs to infrastructure, but also for home expansions and renovations.

The article further notes that according to Council Chair Calvin Ball, the bill is intended to “‘encourage a full-spectrum of housing.” A public hearing on the housing bill and other proposed legislation is scheduled for May 19.