E-Alerts & Press Releases

Baltimore County HOME Act

Tell the Baltimore County Council to support the HOME Act. Click here to send a message.

Talking points

Sample message to the Baltimore County Council

Suggested social media posts

 

What the HOME ACT will do:

The Baltimore County HOME Act will prohibit housing discrimination based on “source of income.” Source of income means any lawful source of funds used in the rental or purchase of housing. It includes money from:

(1) Any lawful employment

(2) Any government or private assistance, grant, loan or rental assistance program

(3) Any gift, inheritance, pension, annuity, alimony or child support

 
What it will not do:

  • The bill does not prohibit a landlord from determining the renter’s ability to pay the rent by: verifying the renter’s source and amount of income; evaluating the stability and security of the renter’s income; or evaluating the renter’s tenant history.
  • The bill does not prevent a landlord from refusing income derived from criminal activity.
  • The bill does not slow down or prevent housing and economic development in other jurisdictions that have passed similar legislation, such as Montgomery County, Howard County and Frederick County in Maryland, as well as 11 states and more than 30 cities and counties nationwide.

Why we need this legislation:

The HOME Act will help low-income families and individuals in Baltimore County connect to better jobs, schools and housing.

Rental assistance programs allow families to spend more on basic needs such as food, health care and transportation.

 
Facts about Housing Choice Vouchers in Baltimore County

  • In Baltimore County, 32% of voucher holders are seniors, 30% are people with disabilities and 25% are low-wage workers.
  • The Housing Choice Voucher Program expects participants to comply with the lease and program requirements, to pay their share of the rent on time and to maintain the rental unit in good condition.

What you can do:

Please tell your council person you support the Baltimore County HOME Act by sending them a comment here.

Here is a sample message:

I believe it is time for Baltimore County to finally enact protections to decrease concentrated poverty and increase housing and economic opportunities for all working families, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and veterans in our county. I ask that you support the Baltimore County HOME Act.

The HOME Act will ban discrimination by landlords in Baltimore County against families with housing vouchers and other legal non-wage forms of income (e.g. disability, social security, pension, alimony, child support, veteran housing voucher). Too often those with housing vouchers are not seen as individuals. Instead, they are denied decent, safe housing that they can afford, simply based on the source of their income – including veterans with veterans' housing vouchers.

Whether a person’s income comes from wages, or from child support or a housing voucher, is not relevant to whether they can be a good tenant and neighbor. With rents rising while wages stagnate, many entry level and low-wage workers cannot afford even modest housing on their wages alone, and must rely on a housing voucher to supplement their wage income.

The HOME Act will help to treat all renters fairly, deconcentrate poverty, allow families and individuals to live in areas that promote health and upward mobility, closer to good schools and jobs and allow the elderly and the disabled to live near their families and friends. The HOME Act is something we can do to help address this growing crisis – and it is long overdue.

The bill does not prohibit a landlord from determining the renter’s ability to pay the rent by verifying the renter’s source and amount of income; evaluating the stability and security of the renter’s income; or evaluating the renter’s tenant history. The bill also does not prevent a landlord from refusing income derived from criminal activity. And the bill does not slow down or prevent housing and economic development in other jurisdictions that have passed similar legislation.

I ask for your leadership in support of the Baltimore County HOME Act. The time is now.

Sincerely,


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Social Media

Remember to follow and re-tweet @CDNMaryland as well and use the hashtag #HOMEAct.

Suggested Tweets

Balt. County #HOMEAct will prevent housing #discrimination & connect families to opportunity. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/BaltHOME

Baltimore County families need affordable housing. Pass the #HOMEAct! http://bit.ly/BaltHOME

Low-poverty neighborhoods connect children to better future opportunities. Baltimore County, pass the #HOMEAct! http://bit.ly/BaltHOME

#HOMEAct will prohibit landlords from discriminating based on source of income. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/BaltHOME
 
.@BaltimoreCounty intros #HOMEAct to prevent saying no 2 renters based on how they pay 4 #affordablehousing http://bit.ly/Balt2HOME
 
.@BaltimoreCounty weighs #HOMEAct to help elderly, disabled, veterans & families find #affordablehousing http://bit.ly/Balt2HOME
 
It takes Balt. County families 2.6 months on avg. to find a landlord to accept housing vouchers #HOMEAct http://bit.ly/Balt2HOME
 


Suggested Facebook Posts
 
Rental assistance programs like Baltimore County’s Housing Choice Vouchers program are crucial for helping hard-working families, seniors, veterans and individuals with disabilities succeed in thriving communities. The proposed HOME Act will help connect people to job opportunities, alleviate concentrations of poverty and make it possible for children to attend better schools. Today’s Baltimore Sun discusses the issue. http://bit.ly/Balt2HOME
 
Right now families with housing subsidies are clustered in a few communities in Baltimore County where landlords will accept vouchers. The HOME Act will ensure that landlords treat people as individuals, taking into account factors beyond the source of their income. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/BaltHOME

Did you know? Research shows that children whose families move to low-poverty neighborhoods when they are young are far more likely to attend college and earn significantly more as adults, and are less likely to become single parents. The HOME Act will help connect Baltimore County’s children to a brighter future! http://bit.ly/BaltHOME

Did you know? It takes a family an average of 2.6 months to find a landlord who will accept their Housing Choice Voucher in Baltimore County. Because the program requires that you find a home within a certain amount of time, that means many families risk losing their assistance. Support the HOME Act to prevent housing discrimination! http://bit.ly/BaltHOME

Studies have consistently shown no increase in crime, no decrease in property values or detriment to the community from vouchers or more income diversity. Learn more about the proposed HOME Act in Baltimore County to prevent housing discrimination: http://bit.ly/BaltHOME
 
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For more information on how you can support Baltimore County's HOME Act, contact:

Matt Hill, Public Justice Center: 410-625-9409, ext. 229; hillm@publicjustice.org
Antonia Fasanelli, HPRP, 410-685-6589, ext. 17, afasanelli@hprplaw.org
Betsy Sexton, League of Women Voters, 410-377-8046, esexton2009@gmail.com
 

 


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