Baltimore City’s Inclusionary Housing

In 2006, the Murphy Initiative joined with Beyond the Boundaries, an archdiocesan program, to work with a coalition of neighborhood groups, agencies, and other faith groups to deal with the lack of affordable housing in healthy neighborhoods. This campaign led to the passage of Baltimore City’s Inclusionary Housing Ordinance in July 2007, a bill that provides for the creation of affordable homes in mixed-income neighborhoods. This issue is critical in terms of its effects on the quality of neighborhood schools, access to jobs, health issues, and crime—all of which are important to the Murphy Initiative’s goals and objectives.

This bill ensures that as new developments occur in Baltimore, there will be affordable homes in healthy, promising, mixed-income communities. This is one key piece in making sure that Baltimore does not concentrate residents by income, which hurts everyone —high- as well as low-income residents.

In the final negotiations before the bill’s passage, a five-year expiration date called a sunset was included: If the bill was ineffective in producing such housing by July 2012, it would be ended. Baltimore City Council’s Land Use Committee has not yet called a meeting to decide whether to remove the sunset provision completely or to extend the Inclusionary Housing Bill until 2020.

The Murphy Initiative supports the removal of the sunset of the Inclusionary Housing Bill. Our city needs this legislation because the bill will create a framework for inclusive, opportunity-rich, thriving neighborhoods with quality, affordable housing for residents of all income levels. We will continue to keep everyone informed about what happening in regard to the provision and what actions you can take to help.