Garrett County Government - Department of Business Development

Affordable Housing in Maryland: A Rural Developer’s Experience

Last Updated on Aug 30, 2022 at 1:15pm | Garrett County Economic Development

Article courtesy of the Maryland Department of Planning: August 26, 2022
Housing at Liberty Hill, part of Garrett County CAC's Chautauqua West affordable housing development.While articles about sky rocketing rental and home sales prices, housing shortages, and homelessness have routinely made national headlines over the past few years, common misconceptions about affordable housing remain.
To help deal with such issues, the Maryland legislature passed House Bill (HB) 1045 in 2019, which requires jurisdictions with planning and zoning authority to address housing as part of a comprehensive plan.
In light of this, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) developed guidance (Models and Guidelines), online tools (Housing Data Dashboard) and other resources to assist local governments with developing or updating their housing elements.
This spring, Planning partnered with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to write five articles[1] about DHCD’s  2020 report, The Maryland Housing Needs Assessment and 10-yr Strategic Plan, and how it can inform communities about analyzing and responding to their housing needs. Last month’s edition of Planning Practice Monthly reviewed House Bill (HB) 90, which requires, as of January 2023, all housing elements developed for municipalities and non-charter counties to “affirmatively further fair housing,” in addition to affordable housing.
To further assist with new housing requirements, Planning will share the experiences of developers, governments, and non-profit partners around the state, which can provide insights and ideas for communities embarking on a comprehensive plan update or that are seeking to create a housing element for the first time.
This month, we met with Duane Yoder, President/CEO of the Garrett County Community Action Committee (GCCAC), a role he has filled since 1980. GCCAC is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1965 to combat the causes and effects of poverty by supporting families and individuals, allowing them to gain economic security and a better quality of life. A native of Garrett County, Duane served in similar roles for eight years in Southern Maryland and on the Eastern Shore.