Business, Politics

Baltimore County Council approves HOME Act

UPDATE 3: The HOME Act has been signed into law.

UPDATE 2: Read Councilman Marks’ op-ed piece on the HOME Act here.

UPDATE: Councilman David Marks has issued a statement regarding the passing of the HOME Act.

“Contrary to its name, this bill does not equalize housing opportunities,” said Marks. “Wealthy neighborhoods with no rentals will not be affected, while communities like Seven Courts will bear the full brunt of this legislation and the housing settlement crafted by the Kamenetz administration.”

Original story below…

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TOWSON, MD—The Baltimore County Council voted to approve the HOME Act on Monday evening.

The vote went along party lines with four Democrats voting “yes” and three Republicans voting “no.”

The HOME Act would make it illegal for a landlord to refuse to rent to a potential tenant based on the person’s source of income. Source of income can refer to income from a job, public assistance programs, benefits and considerations (such as an inheritance, a pension, an annuity, etc.) or the sale of a property.

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Source of income includes participation in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, so essentially the HOME Act prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to tenants with Section 8 vouchers.

“Today is a major step forward for Baltimore County,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski following the vote. “I thank the County Council for recognizing that discrimination in any form is wrong and for working with me on this step to fulfill our legal and moral obligations. Together, we will continue building a better Baltimore County.”

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