Affordable housing is a must for Baltimore's most vulnerable citizens

United Way of Central Maryland has a keen interest in the future of affordable housing in Baltimore City. (“Residents, advocates worry Perkins Homes' redevelopment will reduce affordable units,” Aug. 31).

United Way fights for the basic needs of citizens throughout our region — and those needs include the right to safe, affordable housing. The United Way ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report, released earlier this year, clearly states the need: an appalling 55 percent of Baltimore City residents spend more than a third of their income on rent, placing them in a precarious and unstable financial position. One unexpected expense could result in eviction or homelessness. According to the report, the gap in rental stock available for these struggling working families is 30,000 units.

Reducing the already low number of affordable housing units in the city punitively affects our neighbors who are already in a vulnerable position. We are fully supportive of Mayor Catherine Pugh’s 20/20 Campaign targeting affordable housing and homelessness ― and hope the city will hold developers accountable for ensuring that struggling families have equal opportunity to a safe and affordable place to call home.

Franklyn Baker, Baltimore

The writer is President and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland

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