Harbor Point developers should include low-income housing

July 23, 2013

It is no wonder that no affordable housing is being planned at Harbor Point despite the $107 million tax subsidy being sought ("What Harbor Point is asking for," July 21).

The affordable housing bill passed by the City Council in 2007 was never intended to be functional. It was doomed to failure from the very start. It merely served as an "opiate for the people," despite the fact that it was brought about by faith communities to deal with the injustices in Baltimore City's housing market for low-income workers.

The city has made it almost impossible for the law to accomplish that because it would have to come up with money to subsidize such housing. The Inclusionary Housing Act requires developers of 30 or more units that receive public subsidies to set aside 20 percent of housing as low-cost units.

Rather than have the affordable housing bill wind up going nowhere, why not require the developer of Harbor Point, who will be getting the subsidy, to be responsible for subsidizing affordable housing units? That would give low-income workers in the development a chance to advance their lives.

This is the kind of mixed housing that developer Michael Beatty might see as a win-win situation, and no doubt it would bring improvements to the city of Baltimore.

Raymond D. Bahr, Baltimore

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