Finding support for low-income housing
In reading recent articles about the vote by Baltimore County Council to reject state funding for a planned affordable housing development in Rosedale, I felt troubled that certain unfounded attitudes toward voucher holders prevailed and amhopeful that there is an increased awareness that more affordable housing is needed throughout the county.
I was troubled by remarks that crimes go hand-in-hand with voucher holders and that it doesn’t matter whether “Section 8” occupancy is just a few residents or many more, the community will be inundated with crime (“Baltimore County Council poised to block low-income housing,” Nov. 18). Reputable research groups have found no correlation between Section 8 occupancy and crime. Instead, they find that households whowould rather use their vouchers in a safe, opportunity-rich neighborhood very frequently have to use their vouchers in communities that already have a high rate of crime.
My hopeful feelings stem from comments made by Councilwoman Cathy Bevins and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz after the vote was taken (“Kamenetz: Council sent ‘wrong message’ by blocking housing project,” Nov. 20). Though Ms. Bevins and Mr. Kamenetz had opposing views on the planned development, she said that the administration needs to figure out how to spread affordable housing throughout the county, and Mr. Kamenetz said that affordable housing needs to be accessible across the county and that he is “exploring a variety of strategies for more affordable housing,” possibly including a law that prevents housing discrimination against people using vouchers.
In the past the “Beyond the Boundaries” program helped members of diverse Catholic parishes to have sister relationships, which was very helpful in breaking downstereotypical barriers. More things like this today are necessary not only in Baltimore County but in Baltimore and in the whole region so that what Mr. Kamenetz says he is exploring will have the broad support to actually happen.
Brother Jerry O’Leary, Baltimore