The Baltimore Affordable Housing Trust Fund
This week voters in the city of Baltimore approved a charter amendment that creates an affordable housing trust fund. The need for the trust fund is clear: Today nearly half of all Baltimore residents pay 30 percent or more of their income for housing.
This trust fund will support a wide range of activities, including:
- Providing loans or grants to assist in the production and improvement of housing
- Supporting predevelopment work
- Supplying operating supporting for land trusts
The next step for the trust fund is gathering resources, since the amendment does not provide for specific funding sources. The Housing for All coalition, which collected 18,000 signatures to get the amendment on the ballot, and other public and private partners have already begun to identify potential funding sources.
Future funding will be administered by Baltimore Housing and will be directed by a 12-member commission of community members. The mayor and City Council will both have the ability to direct resources to this fund. This structure is typical of many housing trust funds across the country.
Enterprise proudly endorsed this ballot initiative because we’ve seen how transformative local trust funds can be in other cities and counties. Flexible, low-cost financing and grants at the local level can be leveraged with other private financing to build and rehabilitate housing for extremely low- and very low-income households. Enterprise looks forward to working with the Housing for All coalition and new city leadership to continue progress on this trust fund.
Kudos to all the partners in Housing for All for this crucial accomplishment!