The flood, which damaged dozens of businesses, displaced close to 200 residents and claimed the lives of two people, will cost about $42 million in lost economic activity, Howard County Economic Development Authority CEO Lawrence Twele predicted Thursday. And the county will miss out on about $1.3 million in tax revenue as a result.
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and Kenneth Holt, secretary of housing and community development, were in Bel Air Monday afternoon to celebrate the launch of the Maryland SmartBuy program, which helps millennials pay off student debt and purchase a home.
Nearly 50 city businesses in commercial districts affected by last year's unrest that will each receive up to $10,000 in storefront improvements from the state Department of Housing and Community Development. Under the new $650,000 effort, trainees in workforce development programs will be paid to install new windows, signs and awnings, freshen exterior paint, improve porches and tackle carpentry projects.
Calling Baltimore's abandoned rowhouses "hotbeds for crime," Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday announced a nearly $700 million plan to tear down thousands of vacant buildings and replace them with new developments — a level of investment in Baltimore's poorest neighborhoods some say is unprecedented.
With many Maryland landlords failing to respond to the state's expanded regulatory effort to curb childhood lead poisoning, officials are mass-mailing pointed reminders this summer to tens of thousands of property owners to register their rental units or risk being fined.
Although it was certainly heartening that Lt. Gov. Rutherford distanced the Hogan Administration from the remarks made by Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth Holt at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) summer conference, and good to hear that Gov. Hogan has counseled the secretary, these actions may not be enough.
The claim Friday by Housing Secretary Kenneth C. Holt that certain mothers — read largely poor, black and based in Baltimore — would knowingly poison their children with lead weights for free housing is disturbing on multiple levels, revealing a basic misunderstanding of human nature, Maryland housing law and the devastating effects of lead poisoning.
Disavowing remarks made by the state's chief housing official, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford said Saturday that the Hogan administration will not propose any easing of liability exposure for landlords whose tenants' children are harmed by lead paint in rental homes.