UPDATE! The vote will be held next Monday, November 4! Read below to see how you can help with our last minute push to get this bill over the line!
If you agree that discrimination in any form is wrong and should be prohibited, here are some ways you can show your support for the HOME Act. Learn more about the HOME Act.
Tell the Baltimore County Council that discrimination has no home here.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski recently introduced the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Act, Bill 49-19. The HOME Act will stop housing discrimination based on the source of a person’s income, including housing vouchers, just as renters can’t be discriminated against based on their race, sex, religion, or for other discriminatory reasons. Anne Arundel County passed similar legislation last month, joining Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery Counties, and the cities of Annapolis, Baltimore, and Frederick. Unfortunately, the landlord lobby, the Maryland Multi-Housing Association wants to place a “cap” on certain types of people with certain sources of income in apartment complexes. When this cap amendment was introduced in Baltimore City, advocates including the NAACP, spoke out in opposition: “There is nothing value neutral about discrimination of any kind, in any amount, anywhere.”
Further, if the County Council does not pass a bill substantially the same as a clean bill, the Agreement requires the County Executive to bring this bill back each year for the next nine years. There is nothing “substantially the same” as a law with a cap.
This is a civil rights issue. We should already have these protections, so let’s raise our voices to ensure it gets done now!
HOME Act Vote Set For This Monday, November 4. Urge Your Council Member to Vote Yes!
“People with vouchers just want a decent place to live that’s affordable.” That’s the message from Niesha McCoy, a disabled Randallstown resident who spoke with Baltimore Sun, in an article that highlights the discrimination and injustice faced by people who use housing vouchers. The HOME Act would increase opportunities for all Baltimore County residents by preventing discrimination based on source of income.
At the HOME Act hearing, the lobbyist for the landlord industry argued that vouchers and the HOME Act impose an “administrative burden” on landlords. But he also admitted that the same landlord may choose to rent to persons with vouchers in some County neighborhoods but not in other neighborhoods. In other words, the same apartment owner who takes the voucher in Randallstown may not take it in Timonium. This was never about “administrative burden.” This has always been about discrimination. Source of income discrimination denies fair housing opportunities to thousands of County residents with disabilities, veterans, senior citizens, and working families. Now is the time to end it.
We need your help!
Contact Your Councilmember
Look up your County Council member here. Call AND send them an email asking them to vote for the HOME Act and reject any “cap” amendment: Remember to provide your address! Here is a sample email: “Dear Baltimore County Council Member: I urge you to support Bill No. 49-19, the HOME Act. Discrimination of any kind is wrong, and it needs to end. Residents of Baltimore County deserve the same protections as residents of Anne Arundel, Frederick, Howard, and Montgomery Counties, along with Annapolis, Baltimore City, and Frederick City. I urge you to reject any “cap” amendment. There is no right amount of discrimination that is acceptable.” –[NAME & ADRESS]
Attend the Vote
Attend the vote to show support and wear blue! The Baltimore County Council will be voting at the November 4 Legislative Session, which begins at 6pm at the Historic Courthouse, 400 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor, Towson, Maryland 21204.
Date: November 4, 2019
400 Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor
Towson, Maryland 21204
Share this action alert far and wide!
Check out https://www.baltimorecountyfairhousing.com/ for more information about the HOME Act and the supporting coalition,
Join the coalition
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to join the coalition of over 30 organizations supporting this critical legislation
If you have any questions, email email@example.com.