PEOPLE ACTING TOGETHER IN HOWARD

PATH -

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 housing.

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 Home Parks

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.

Summer Employment/Internships

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.

Activity Buses

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.

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People Acting Together in Howard