Sadly, many of Maryland’s zoning laws are out of date and reflect a dark history of zoning laws motivated by a desire to create racially segregated communities. Maryland is also facing a long-term housing justice crisis. The pandemic showed many of us the true injustices of many of Maryland’s renter laws. As the founder of Strong Future Maryland, John worked during the last legislative session to try and change many of these unjust renter laws.
The Maryland homeownership rate for white residents is 76.8% but the Black homeownership rate is 51.8%. As it stands, most single-family detached communities are located around areas with well-funded schools, lower crime rates and other higher quality of life factors which stems back to the growth of zoning laws as a legal way to keep racial segregation.
John King will:
- Push for Eviction Diversion programs to promote continuity of housing.
- Increase filing surcharges for civil cases in eviction actions and require those charges be paid by the landlord to deter unnecessary eviction action.
- Ensure a fully funded right to counsel for those facing eviction action in court.
- Work with local communities to make sure that there is the necessary housing stock available for market-rate and affordable housing. Maryland has underproduced housing by nearly 260,000 units from 2000 to 2015.
- Work with the legislature and local communities to pass equitable zoning laws.
- Ensure Maryland is utilizing the housing trust fund that for decades has been dramatically underutilized. Maryland invested $49 million in its Housing Trust Fund from 1992 through 2018 yet DC, with a population ten times smaller, invested $179 million in 2018 alone.
- Close the racial gap in home ownership by expanding programs to assist first time homebuyers and implementing reforms to credit scoring and appraisal processes.