The affordable housing stock in Maryland is not keeping up with residents’ needs, according to a new report by the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth and Enterprise Community Partners. The assessment recommends that state and local leaders accelerate efforts to provide a range of rental and for-sale options for Maryland’s growing population. The report was prepared for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. It points to high construction costs, barriers to development, and a lack of public/private investment as influential factors resulting in the deficit of affordable homes. Other key findings:

  • There is a shortage of 85,000 affordable apartments in Maryland for families and individuals earning less than 30% of median income, representing the most serious gap in supply for people at all income levels;
  • An additional 97,200 families and individuals earning less than 50% of median income are expected to move to the state by 2030, highlighting the need to dramatically increase affordable housing supply over the next 10 years; and
  • People of color, individuals with disabilities, and seniors — representing 14% of all Maryland families — face additional hurdles, including lack of flexible standards used by landlords when screening tenants and requiring large down payments. These disparities have been made worse by the pandemic.

To achieve more equitable, positive outcomes, Maryland leaders should focus on initiatives that boost opportunities, such as increasing awareness of housing assistance and subsidies for affordable housing developments, the report concludes. See the full analysis: Maryland Housing Needs Assessment & 10-Year Strategic Plan.

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