As Baltimore County becomes more diverse, we must work to create a stable, affordable, environment-friendly housing market.
Colleen is committed to a stable, affordable, environment-friendly housing market in Baltimore County. Affordable, walkable, mixed-income neighborhoods improve our children’s educational outcomes, attract businesses and services with higher quality offerings and improve our public health and environment. Walkable neighborhoods can increase property values by thousands of dollars and by using smart-growth principles that site new growth and mass transit near job centers, we can efficiently redevelop our commercial corridors.
What can we do?
- Pass the HOME Act. The county already recognizes that there is a shortage of affordable housing units in the county and in 2016 signed a groundbreaking plan to dismantle decades of discriminatory housing policies. Colleen will support this HUD Conciliation Agreement and work to ensure that new residential developments increase the affordable housing stock in the county. She supports the HOME Act, which eliminates discrimination based on source of income.
- Activate new partnerships. Colleen will advocate for innovative partnerships and the use of new analytical tools to target and map Baltimore County’s equity needs. Partnerships between Johns Hopkins University and the University of Baltimore’s Baltimore Neighborhoods Indicators Alliance, for example, have successfully mapped equity indicators for Frederick County. Similar partnerships with Towson University could do the same for Baltimore County. The county can also capitalize on proven effective analytical tools such as the Equity Baltimore Powermap, to help evaluate our neighborhoods based on a range of equity measures.
- Increase opportunities for diverse residents to interact. Colleen will support programs that create opportunities for interaction among residents from different backgrounds, such as cultural centers, outdoor markets, and community gardens, which help overcome stereotypes and fears and nurture positive interactions.
- Recommit to the 2020 Master Plan. Ten years ago, the Baltimore County Council released the Baltimore County 2020 Master Plan, a roadmap for how to increase jobs, housing, opportunities and tax revenue in Baltimore County through smart growth and sustainable development. Its guiding principle was compact, mixed-use, walkable design, consistent with the existing character of our community. Rather than relying on PUDs and other measures to get around it, Colleen will work to re-commit the county to the master plan. Its principles of building smart, affordable housing will provide residents with the livable, walkable communities they deserve.
Read more about Colleen’s vision for improving our quality of life by tackling the opioid crisisand inefficient public transit. And check our her Baltimore Sun op-ed, “Design Baltimore County’s Streets for People, Not Just Vehicles, To Make Everyone Safer.”
For more information
- Mary Cunningham and G.McDonald (2012) Housing as a Platform for Improving Education Outcomes among Low-Income Children. Urban Institute
- Todd Litman (2015) Analysis of Public Policies that unintentionally encourage and subsidize urban sprawl. London School of Economics – US Centre and Victoria Transport Policy Institute.
- Project for Public Spaces: https://www.pps.org/about
- CityLab: Citylab.com