Question J: An Affordable Housing Trust Fund?
Many people in the Baltimore region have a tough time keeping a roof over their heads. Rents have increased sharply in Baltimore in recent years, with no comparable rise in incomes. As a result, fully a third of Baltimore City residents pay more than half of their income for housing, according to a recent Abell Foundation report. We discuss a ballot initiative that may have escaped your notice in this dramatic election season: Question J on the Baltimore City ballot. It would establish what is known as an “affordable housing trust fund.” How would that work? How would it differ from the city’s current inclusionary housing program? How have similar efforts worked in other cities? Rachel Cohen, a freelance journalist and senior writing fellow at the monthly The American Prospect, joins us. Last week, In These Times published Rachel’s feature on affordable housing ballot initiatives, including the one in Baltimore.