Baltimore is facing a severe housing crisis. The for-profit housing model is not working, with big developers and speculators pushing workers and even middle-class families out of the city. Meanwhile, the City Council is working on behalf of big business rather than ordinary renters and homeowners.
● We need rent control as an immediate step to address the crisis of out-of-control rents.
● Make big developers contribute to a city-administered fund to develop affordable housing.
● Working and middle-class people need an affordable alternative to the skyrocketing private housing market! The city should provide a public option by building thousands of high-quality, city-owned housing units, rented at below-market rates. This can be financed by selling municipal bonds and making use of currently vacant and soon to be vacant city land.
● Baltimore needs a Tenants’ Bill of Rights!
● Tenants should have six months’ advance notice of a major rent increase, rather than the two months currently legally required.
● Expand relocation assistance to those being economically evicted by out-of-control rent hikes.
● Cap security deposits and move-in fees at no more than one month’s rent.
● Housing is a human right! Fully fund an emergency plan to immediately offer decent shelter for the more than 3,000 homeless people on Baltimore streets.
● Mortgage relief for homeowners! Baltimore foreclosures rose by nearly 20% in 2015. The city needs to implement a principal reduction program for underwater homeowners to keep more families from losing their homes.
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