The Maryland Catholic Conference (“Conference”) represents the public-policy interests of the three Roman Catholic (arch)dioceses serving Maryland: the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington.
HB 21 establishes a provision for an individual or business to become eligible for the Maryland Sustainable Communities Tax Credit if the individual or business entity seeking the certification agrees to set aside at least 10% of the residential rental units as housing for households whose median income does not exceed 60% of the area median income when a rehabilitation project includes at least 30 housing units.
Safe, adequate, and affordable housing is a human right. The Catechism of the Catholic Church supports the rights to private property and to acquire housing (No. 2211). Furthermore, Catholic teaching recognizes that both the government and communities have a responsibility to ensure that the housing needs of those who are vulnerable in society are met. A bill of this nature is a strong step in the right direction because it not only encourages the rehabilitation of housing units, it requires that they remain affordable to those who live in the area. It is a great disservice to communities to revitalize homes then make neighborhoods too expensive to live in. HB 21 provides a remedy to the recurring problem of gentrification and will help meet the housing needs of many Marylanders.
The Conference appreciates your consideration and urges you to support HB 21.