PATH Issue Agenda
November 18, 2007
Housing Initiative Fund
Together with our sister IAF organizations in Maryland we intend to work with
the legislature to create a substantial housing trust fund on the state level,
to which counties can then apply for funds to match local initiatives. For
Howard County to be successful in applying to such a fund, the county must first
set up its own. We ask our county executive to establish a housing affordability
fund, which will allow Howard County to try new initiatives in affordable
One to One Replacement
The Affordable Housing Task Force reports a deficit of 20,000 affordable
homes in Howard County, but what we donít know is how many affordable units are
lost each year through development or conversion. Each unit that is lost adds to
the deficit. We ask our county executive to commit to a policy of ensuring that
whenever an affordable unit is lost through development or conversion that that
unit is replaced by another affordable unit, so that our inventory of affordable
units is not diminished.
Convene lenders and mortgage brokers
According to recent data, there were 168 foreclosures in Howard County in the
third quarter of this year. Clearly, our county is not immune to the growing
mortgage crisis in this country. Bringing the principal lenders and brokers into
a joint conversation is better than just being spectators to a potential
calamity for many more homeowners in Howard County. We ask the county executive
to convene the countyís lenders and mortgage brokers to determine possible
strategies to undertake in the face of the mortgage crisis.
Mixed Income Developments
Current law allows developers to transfer their Moderate Income Housing Unit
obligations offsite. The current administration has stated that its policy is
that all MIHU units should be developed at the site of the participating
development. We ask that the current policy of creating mixed income
developments be codified into law.
Right of First Refusal for Residents of Mobile
There are about 1,000 affordable housing units located in mobile home parks
in Howard County, but these homes are in danger of being lost to the inventory
in the manner that the 240 homes in the Aladdin Park were lost last month as
that park closed down. PATH seeks legislation which would give mobile home park
residents the right to buy their park and run it themselves if they can secure
the funding to match an offer made to the owner.
Our young people want summer employment, as well as the mentoring to help
them acquire jobs and then keep them. Providing them with these will result in
the development of the next generation of skilled, competent workers for
businesses in our county. We ask the executive to call together leaders from the
public and private sector who will commit to provide summer employment
opportunities for young people in Howard County, and will work with PATH in
creating a mentorship program for our youth.
Youth in Howard County who have cars or parents/family to transport them can
be active in everything from sports to drama and service groups. But for those
without safe, reliable transportation, those activities might as well not exist.
Young people in vulnerable situations are increasingly becoming targets for gang
activity and other dangerous behavior. We ask the school superintendent to
commit to developing a proposal which would provide activity buses at high
schools that request them for students who want to attend after-school programs
offered by the Howard County Public School system.