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Task force recommends a housing advocate


Anne Arundel County should step up efforts to ensure that moderate-income workers can find affordable housing in the county, a task force recommended yesterday.

A report released by the task force recommends that the county create a full-time advocate for more affordable housing, designate areas as possible sites for high-density development and consider offering financial incentives to developers who build more affordable residences.

The task force consisted of elected officials, builders, real estate professionals and housing activists.

County Executive Janet S. Owens said she would review the report carefully to "figure out what we can do with existing resources."

Owens appointed the task force in response to widespread concerns about the rocketing costs of Anne Arundel housing. Housing activists say the county's average assessed housing value, about $280,000, is beyond the means of many Anne Arundel workers.

The report says that before county officials proceed, they must decide what constitutes affordable housing for Anne Arundel'swork force. It says Owens should then assign a staff member to the issue.

The report recommends that the county seek companies interested in entering public-private partnerships to create affordable housing.

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