Maryland Legislator Wants to Steer Low-Income Housing to Affluent Suburban Neighborhoods

The Daily Caller
Jan. 09, 2020

A Maryland legislator wants to identify affluent suburban neighborhoods and target them for low-income, high-density housing.

House Del. Vaughn Stewart, a Democrat, wrote Jan. 3 that he will introduce ˇ°Homes for Allˇ± legislation that would ˇ°legalize the construction of modest homes in neighborhoods close to affluent schools, reliable transit, and good jobs.ˇ±

ˇ°For too long, local governments have weaponized zoning codes to block people of color and the working class from high-opportunity neighborhoods, pushing them to the crumbling margins of cities and towns. We must act boldly to reverse decades of these exclusionary policies,ˇ± he wrote.

The bill follows other efforts throughout the country to bring high-density housing to quiet neighborhoods of single-family homes, with advocates describing suburban neighborhoods with low crime rates and top-ranked schools as racially segregated.

The text of the legislation is not yet available and Stewart did not respond to a request for comment, but CityLab said the bill would bring more people into neighborhoods identified by a private tool called the ˇ°Opportunity Atlas,ˇ± which says it identifies neighborhoods where kids who grow up there tend to become high-earning adults.

The assumption appears to be that the neighborhood made the people wealthy, though in a previous article on the tool, CityLab staff writer Tanvi Misra said it could actually be factors specific to the people who happen to live there, such as ˇ°that the kids who grow up there are very likely to have a father figure.ˇ± Misra was writing about Springwells Village, a predominantly Spanish-speaking neighborhood in Detroit.

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