Planning Launches New Features on Housing Element Models and Guidelines

Resources and Tools

by Kristen E. Humphrey, MLA, Local Assistance and Training Planner

It’s that time of year again…June is American Housing Month

At the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), we believe every Marylander deserves an opportunity for a  safe, affordable home,  to enjoy and share with their family.  

Last year at this time, both to celebrate and to do our part, Planning announced our new Housing Models and Guidelines (M&G) in our June 2020 edition of Planning Practice Monthly.  The Housing M&G is designed to help communities and planners develop Housing Elements as part of their comprehensive planning processes. Specifically, the Housing M&G helps local planners and other agency staff customize their processes and housing elements based on the unique characteristics and needs of their communities. 

This June, we are launching new enhancements to our Housing M&G. First, we have added a new section to the Housing Practices section of the website:  Part III – Best Practices. Part III features eight best practices Planning has identified from communities around the state. These best practices are described in case studies, written with assistance from five Maryland municipalities and three counties: from five Maryland municipalities and three counties:  

  • Inclusionary ZoningModerately Priced Dwelling Unit Ordinance - Annapolis (Anne Arundel County)  
  • Financial Incentives: Affordable Housing Trust Fund - Baltimore City 
  • Preserving Existing Affordable Housing: ‘Edmonston Beautiful’ - Edmonston (Prince George’s County) 
  • Residential Density - Havre de Grace, (Harford County) 
  • Inclusionary Zoning: Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit Program - Montgomery County  
  • Partnerships: Developers and Nonprofits - Mountain Lake Park (Garrett County) 
  • Partnerships: Public/Private – Salisbury (Wicomico County)    
  • Financial Incentives: Housing Vouchers - St. Mary’s County 

Best practices are one of the best ways to learn about new concepts and planning strategies. Thus, our Regional Planners sought out best practices from around the state to help inform jurisdictions when developing their own housing elements. By including these case studies, we hope to spark a dialogue among jurisdictions about strategies they may be able to implement in their own communities. 

Also this month, we updated our Housing Mapping and Data Dashboard with the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2021 Area Median Income data. The dashboard consolidates housing supply and needs data into comparable geographies to aid jurisdictions with local analyses for housing planning. Using the dashboard, local planners can assess current housing characteristics and influences and consider future housing needs based on affordable housing demand and supply.  

For more information, please visit the Models and Guidelines section of our website, or contact Joe Griffiths, Local Assistance and Training Manager at

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