Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott Signs Inclusionary Housing Legislation

On Monday, Jan. 22, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott signed CB 23-0195 (the Inclusionary Housing for Baltimore City Bill) and CB 23-0369 (the Baltimore High-Performance Inclusionary Tax Credit Bill), which were both passed by the City Council in December. The legislation will increase affordable housing opportunities for residents of the city.

Both bills were supported by the Inclusionary Housing Coalition (IHC) of Baltimore, a nonpartisan group of 17 local organizations that have worked together to improve pre-existing city law and promote fair, affordable housing for all. A full list of coalition members can be found below.

The Inclusionary Housing for Baltimore City Bill requires any development with 20 or more units that is receiving or plans to apply for a major public subsidy to reserve up to 15% of its units for households earning below the Baltimore area median income.

The High-Performance Inclusionary Tax Credit Bill will offer a credit equal to the difference between the market-rate rent and the rent collected from the inclusionary units. Developers would apply for the credit each year.

“My entire time working on behalf of the City of Baltimore, it has been clear to me how critical the creation of inclusionary housing is for our residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “As a city, we have a moral imperative to provide safe, affordable housing in all parts of our city. Access to housing is so often the difference between a family’s ability to have security and success or for them to face the most dire impacts that historic disinvestment can have on our communities. Bolstering our inclusionary housing system to aid in this effort is simply the right thing to do. I want to thank all of the advocates, including our partners who championed this on the Council for their dedication to this cause and tireless efforts to ensure Baltimore reinstated and improved our inclusionary housing policy.”

“This inclusionary housing package is not only historic, it will also be effective,” said bill sponsor and City Councilmember Odette Ramos. “For too long, Baltimore claimed to have an inclusionary housing bill, when in reality, it had so many loopholes that only 34 units were produced over the last 15 years.  With these two bills, we will truly have mixed income communities by creating affordable units where currently there are none. This is a significant step in eliminating the impact of our racist housing policies that were established in the very same chamber where we passed these bills. I want to thank Council President Mosby, Mayor Scott, the Administration, my colleagues, developers and all of the advocates for your tireless partnership to get an effective package that will produce inclusionary units. It was not easy, and it will work.”

“Today, Baltimore City is making a historic step forward in its efforts to address exclusionary policies of the past with the passage of the Inclusionary Housing Law and the Inclusionary Housing Tax Credit Bills.,” said Char McCready, a leader of Baltimore’s Inclusionary Housing Coalition and Maryland Inclusive Housing (MIH) Director of Housing. “This legislation ends a development policy that subsidizes segregation and separate-and-unequal development.  Many members of the Inclusionary Housing Coalition have pushed for this outcome for over 17 years. I want to thank Mayor Scott, Council President Nick Mosby, Councilwoman Ramos and all city leadership for their work to make this happen. We are looking forward to working with Mayor Scott, his administration and community stakeholders to ensure the law is effective and produces affordable rental units citywide. This is a historic win for the people who live and work in Baltimore City.”

Inclusionary Housing Coalition (IHC) of Baltimore is a nonpartisan group of 17 local organizations that have worked together to improve pre-existing city law and promote fair, affordable housing for all. Those organizations include 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the Baltimore Ethical Society, Baltimore Renters Solidarity Coalition, Baltimore Renters United, Beyond the Boundaries, BRIDGE Maryland, GEDCO Baltimore, Baltimore Historical Sharp Leadenhall, Community Development Network of Maryland, Job Opportunity Task Force, League of Women Voters Baltimore City, Marian House, Maryland Center on Economic Policy, Maryland Inclusive Housing (MIH), NAACP of Baltimore City, North East Housing Initiative (NEHI), Poppleton, Public Justice Center. Southwest Partnership.

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