Seattle, Baltimore Take on the Housing Affordability Crisis

According to Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies Managing Director Chris Herbert, just under half of all renters nationwide in 2018 are “cost burdened,” or pay more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Robert Pinnegar, president and CEO of National Apartment Association, recommends that mayors “prioritize development of apartment housing, plan for diversity within it, and partner with their local apartment associations.” To tackle this growing issue, the City of Baltimore now offers first-time home buyers tax credits to live in particular areas and is creating a $55 million neighborhood investment fund dedicated to affordable housing. Seattle is making $100 million in investments leveraged into $200 million in starts for affordable housing and is looking at rezoning to build density in neighborhoods and making it easier to build on additions to existing properties. Learn more about it in this Route Fifty article.