Affordable Housing and Pay As You Go Loophole

Howard County Citizens Association is asking the County Executive and County Council to adopt a bill to remove a loophole for developers. I came to know this loophole when Howard Hughs was proposing a new large scale downtown development with county finance help in 2016-2017. The TIF (Tax Increment Finance) was 170 million. They did not build the affordable housing units as promised in their previous developments and then they used affordable housing units again as a wedge to get their new deal approved. Here is the article I wrote four years ago on this issue: Columbia’s Downtown and Affordable Housing .

We should not allow developers to pay a tiny fee to skip the affordable housing requirements in their project. I am especially looking forward to affordable housing proponents to put the pressure on the county council and the county executive and remove this loophole.

We should put the developers’ interest aside and the residents’ interest first.