The Baltimore Metropolitan Council works with local governments, public housing agencies (PHAs), and other stakeholders in the region to coordinate housing planning. These efforts strive to promote access to opportunity in the region, improve quality of life, and help local governments and PHAs meet their responsibility to affirmatively further fair housing under the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968.
Fair Housing Planning and Resources
BMC assists local governments and PHAs in carrying out action steps from the Regional Fair Housing Action Plan in the 2012 Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) for the Baltimore Metropolitan Region (errata sheet here). Each year BMC helps local governments who receive their federal housing funds directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to mark their accomplishments and carry out more detailed planning for upcoming years through a Fair Housing Implementation Plan.
In November 2016, carrying out a key action step from the 2012 Regional AI, Baltimore-area housing agencies finalized a Baltimore Region Rental Home Affordability Preservation Policy. BMC is working with State and local officials to refine the database that is central to the policy, and the Affordability Preservation Task Force created by the policy met twice in 2017. Current priorities include identifying properties for reservation and ensuring that the notice and right-of- first-purchase provisions in the Maryland Assisted Housing Preservation Act are being enforced.
Fair Housing Guides
In 2014, BMC helped the Fair Housing Group create a series of fair housing education booklets in three languages — English, Spanish, and Korean. The booklets describe housing discrimination that is illegal under federal, state, and local housing laws. Renters, owners, managers, sellers, and buyers alike can use these booklets to know their rights and responsibilities regarding rental and owner-occupied homes.
Booklets for Rental Homes
(Para Viviendas de Alquiler)
These booklets are designed for renters and for property owners and managers. Please click on the link for the language you are looking for below:
- English language rental home booklet
- Libro en español para viviendas de alquiler
- Korean language rental home booklet
Booklets for Owner-Occupied Homes
(Para Hogares Occupado por sus Dueños)
These booklets are designed for home buyers and sellers, homeowners, real estate and insurance agents, and homeowners and condominium associations. Please click on the link for the language you are looking for below:
- English language owner-occupied home booklet
- Libro en español para hogares ocupados por sus dueños
- Korean language owner-occupied home booklet
Toward the back of each booklet is a list of organizations and agencies that can supply additional information. Many of these agencies and organizations are also places where a person can file a fair housing complaint if they feel they have been the victim of illegal discrimination.
In compiling these booklets, the Baltimore Regional Fair Housing Group consulted with Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, and the Maryland Multi-Housing Association. The booklets also draw on educational resources from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and their creation was funded through a HUD Fair Housing Initiatives Program grant.
Regional Housing Plan and Fair Housing Equity Assessment
From 2012 to 2015, BMC also hosted an innovative collaboration with State agencies and nonprofit stakeholders known as the Opportunity Collaborative. Funded through a $3.5 million Sustainable Communities grant from HUD, the effort included a Housing Committee of public and private stakeholders that continues to meet.
The Housing Committee, staffed by BMC and assisted by a consultant team led by the Innovative Housing Institute, released in November 2014 Strong Communities, Strong Region: The Baltimore Regional Housing Plan and Fair Housing Equity Assessment. The plan built on the 2012 Regional Analysis of Impediments in many ways, updating the data, broadening the analysis, and issuing a menu of 50 recommendations to meet the region’s housing needs in a way that improves access to opportunity and neighborhood quality of life.
This plan also laid the groundwork for the November 2016 Baltimore Region Rental Home Affordability Preservation Policy and it included a recommendation for a new Regional Project-Based Voucher Program that also launched in 2016.
In December 2015 the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded the Howard County Housing Commission (HCHC) a three-year seed grant to launch the Baltimore Regional Project-Based Voucher (PBV) program. The Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC) has now joined with HCHC, other Baltimore-area public housing agencies (PHAs) and the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership to carry out this program.
About the Program
The Baltimore Regional PBV program combined 100 housing vouchers from participating area housing agencies to create project-based vouchers to encourage affordable housing development in areas of opportunity in the Baltimore region. 84 of those vouchers remain to be awarded in 2017.
The program is modeled on the Regional Housing Initiative, in place in Chicago since 2002. The new Baltimore program will make it easier for qualifying families to choose an affordable place to live virtually anywhere in the region. It will also enable affordable housing developers to apply in one place for subsidies that can be used in five county-level jurisdictions around the region: Baltimore City and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, and Howard Counties.
The program will have a strong preference for family housing in high opportunity areas of the region, as defined by the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership. At least two-thirds of vouchers awarded through the Baltimore Regional PBV program will be for this type of home. The remainder must be part of concerted revitalization plans that will also offer substantial opportunity to residents.
Families participating in this program will be eligible for substantial housing mobility counseling from the Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership, both before and after moving to their new home. That counseling will include assistance with any credit issues, family budgeting, guidance on working with property owners and managers, and rights and responsibilities as a tenant.
Local Partner Agencies
- Baltimore County Office of Housing
- Baltimore Metropolitan Council
- Baltimore Regional Housing Partnership
- Harford County Housing and Community Development
- Housing Authority of Baltimore City
- Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis
- Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County
- Howard County Housing Commission
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Public Notice – Award of Project-Based Vouchers
The Baltimore Regional Project-Based Voucher Program has made the following awards of project-based vouchers (PBVs):
- Fifteen (15) to Volleyball House Apartments, LLLP for Riverwatch II in Elkridge
- Six (6) to Towne Courts LLC in Annapolis
No Request for Proposals Open at this Time
The Baltimore Regional PBV Program’s 2017 RFP closed on September 15, but you can review the RFP and related documents for additional information about the program. We anticipate issuing a revised RFP in 2018.
No Vouchers Available for Families at this Time
The Baltimore Regional Project-Based Voucher (PBV) Program is not currently accepting applications from families who are seeking affordable housing. We will open a regional waiting list closer to when homes will be available to families.
We will post on this web page at least 30 days advance notice of when we will open the waiting list. If you check this web page every 30 days (about every month), you will see the advance notice and be ready to sign up when the waiting list opens.