Baltimore County Source of Income Legislation
On November 4, 2019, the Baltimore County Council voted to approve Council Bill 49-19, the Home Act, also known as source of income legislation. The County was obligated to introduce this bill and pass it in “substantially similar” form to the initial draft pursuant to a Conciliation Agreement entered into with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
While Council Bill 49-19 passed on a party-line vote, one amendment to the bill was approved. That amendment excludes small landlords from being required to accept Housing Choice Vouchers under certain conditions. As a result of last night’s vote, effective 45 days from the date the County Executive signs the bill, rental housing providers will now be prohibited from denying tenancy solely because someone is a Housing Choice Voucher holder.
MMHA met with every councilmember and the Administration on numerous occasions, wrote a letter to the editor in the Baltimore Sun about the bill, and reached out to our entire membership requesting that they contact the County Council in favor of our amendment. 43 MMHA members sent emails to the councilmembers.
Unfortunately, MMHA’s threshold amendment was not introduced for consideration. Councilman Julian Jones reneged on his promise to introduce the threshold amendment that would have allowed landlords to cease participating in the Housing Choice Voucher program once 7.5% of their units were occupied by voucher holders in the first 5 years of the program and 15% in year 6 and thereafter.
MMHA has already reached out the Baltimore County Housing Office to request that they host an informational session on the Housing Choice Voucher program for our members. We will also post an enrolled version of the bill to our website once the Council posts it.