I believe housing is a human right. Marylanders routinely pay over 30% of their average individual income for rent. Couple that with childcare costs and other household expenses that could take over 40-60% of a person’s income and the concept of savings is out of the question. No savings equals an inability to buy a home and build equity. The inability to buy a home prevents Marylanders from reaching one of the first levels of building generational wealth. This problem is more pervasive in urban and rural areas, and minority communities throughout Maryland. In Detroit I built a home ownership and prosperity education course that taught families about home ownership and sustainable community development. I’ll work with state legislators to duplicate that effort throughout the state of Maryland. In addition, I’ll continue to seek ways to lower rental costs without hurting investors and open pathways to home ownership for every Marylander.
- Propose incentives that spark the development of, and investment in, low-income rental housing. I’ve formed a working group to develop a plan that incentivizes responsible individuals and companies that make a commitment to build and invest in multi-unit rentals servicing low-income renters. I guarantee that this plan will provide low-income renters with the ability to choose where they want to live. We will not perpetuate the trap of providing affordable housing exclusively in areas with high concentrations of poverty and a lack of opportunity.
- Recreate the pathway for middle class home ownership in Maryland. Communities with healthy home ownership are safer, boast better education, and often have greater access to jobs. In the late 1940’s Joseph Eichler, a German Jew living in California, began building what became over 11,000 tract homes that were sold to middle class families from every race, religion, and ethnicity. Mr. Eichler was one of the first major developers in the country to provide homes to anyone with the desire to own and the means to afford it. Guided by the example of Mr. Eichler’s leadership we’ll create wealth building opportunities and stability through home ownership for Marylanders and millions across the country.
- Propose resources for local governments to rehabilitate underserved and often blighted neighborhoods. Living in Detroit I witnessed the withering effects of blight. I also saw what smart planning by government officials could do for people that needed help in the wake of lost industry and hope. In Baltimore city, while different in scope to Detroit, I see some of the same possibilities. In my plan I’ll address chronic homelessness. We’ll provide targeted support to at risk groups like veterans and members of the LGBT community. We’ll also provide solutions for homeowners that make homes safe and sellable. My plan provides a high minimum standard of living for all Marylanders.