E-Alerts & Press Releases

Baltimore City Council votes to move the Fund the Trust Act forward

October 24, 2018

Baltimore is several steps closer to funding the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, following a few eventful months! Since an August agreement between advocates and Baltimore City leaders, we’ve been working to pass the Fund the Trust Act, which would create a revenue source for the Trust Fund.

On September 27, the Baltimore Housing Roundtable and Housing for All Coalition kicked off the day with a rally outside City Hall. The PJC joined residents, Council members, organizers, advocates, and faith leaders in a strong show of support for development without displacement. The group then moved inside for the bill’s committee hearing, forming a line that stretched out the door.

During the hearing, residents, community developers, and advocates, including the PJC’s Matt Hill (see testimony preview video here), shared how the rising costs of housing  and deteriorating neighborhoods displace families and destabilize communities. They described how the Fund the Trust Act would provide revenue that would create permanently affordable housing; provide fair housing services, eviction prevention, and housing counseling; rehabilitate vacant properties; support community land trusts; and employ thousands of City residents in construction and other development-related jobs. The bill passed out of committee, albeit with two amendments, one that would exempt certain large development projects from contributing to the Trust Fund, and another to sunset the law after seven years.

October 15 was another big day, when the Fund the Trust Act moved to second reader before the entire City Council. At the hearing, we succeeded in limiting the exemption and removing the sunset amendment from the bill. The Council unanimously voted in favor of advancing the bill to third reader, which is scheduled for a final vote on October 29. We look forward to passage of the bill, after which Mayor Catherine Pugh is expected to sign the bill into law. Then the hard work begins as we advocate with the twelve-member, community-based Commission that oversees the Fund along with the Department of Housing and Community Development to implement the law and ensure a new day for equitable development in Baltimore.

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