Analyzing Affordable Housing Needs in Your Jurisdiction: Examples from Maryland Housing Elements

Local Spotlight 

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Manager 

Image 1 – Photo of construction workers framing a house, courtesy of DHCD.

In 2019, the Maryland Departments of Planning (Planning) and Housing and Community Development (DHCD) initiated mutually reinforcing development efforts to assist Maryland jurisdictions with their affordable housing planning needs.  

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Housing Data Dashboard Updates

Resources and Tools

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Manager

The Maryland Department of Planning recently updated its Housing Data Dashboard to include 2022 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Area Median Income (AMI) data and U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) 2016-2020 Five-Year Estimates. The Housing Data Dashboard, part of the Housing Element Models & Guidelines website developed by Planning in 2020, helps jurisdictions meet the comprehensive planning requirements of HB 1045, passed in 2019. The AMI data is displayed, for whichever geography (county, place, census tract) a user selects, in the dashboard’s AMI calculator (Figure 1, shown below).

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Affordable Housing in Maryland: A Rural Developer’s Experience

Local Spotlight

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

While articles about sky rocketing rental and home sales prices, housing shortages, and homelessness have routinely made national headlines over the past few years, common misconceptions about affordable housing remain.

Figure 1 – Photo of housing at Liberty Hill, part of GCCAC’s Chautauqua West affordable housing development in Garrett County; courtesy, Duane Yoder.

To help deal with such issues, the Maryland legislature passed House Bill (HB) 1045 in 2019, which requires jurisdictions with planning and zoning authority to address housing as part of a comprehensive plan.

In light of this, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) developed guidance (Models and Guidelines), online tools (Housing Data Dashboard) and other resources to assist local governments with developing or updating their housing elements.

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HB 90 (2021) Modifies Comprehensive Plan Housing Element Requirements: What Maryland Jurisdictions Need to Know

Resources and Tools 

by Joseph Griffiths, AICP, Local Assistance and Training Manager

In June 2020, HB 1045 (2019) required, for the first time, that all Maryland comprehensive plans include a housing element addressing affordable housing for low income and workforce households.[1]

In response to this requirement, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), in partnership with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and a diverse housing stakeholder group, developed a Housing Element Models & Guidelines website.

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Housing Needs Assessment and 10-Year Strategic Plan – Part V  

Resources and Tools

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

In the January edition of Planning Practice Monthly, we introduced the Maryland Housing Needs Assessment & 10-Year Strategic Plan (Needs Assessment) and how it can be of value to Maryland jurisdictions in developing the required Housing Elements in their comprehensive plans. In February we summarized Section 2 of the report, dealing with proposed statewide priorities and in March we covered Section 3, which addressed the state of housing in Maryland. Last month, we took a look at Section 4, Needs by region & core actions to address them.

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