Baltimore City Councilman John Bullock spent four years sitting on the city’s Inclusionary Housing Board, an opportunity he thought would involve working with developers to create more housing units for low- and moderate-income residents. In those four years, however, Bullock barely recalls developers setting aside any affordable units. Instead, his tenure was spent granting waivers. Many, many waivers. “We’d get these requests for waivers and, looking at the numbers and where folks were, we didn’t have an option,” Bullock said. “Our hands were literally tied.” Baltimore’s inclusionary housing policy, adopted in 2007, was a failure. Few affordable units were built, and the city missed an opportunity to potentially claw back tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks from developers who declined to include housing for low-income residents in their projects as the law required.
Baltimore might get a new inclusionary housing law. Here’s why the old one failed.
December 12, 2022