Baltimore to target housing discrimination with $15 million plan

An aerial view of Baltimore City skyline on December 1, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

A Baltimore City Councilman has laid out a plan to force city agencies to examine whether its housing policies are discriminatory.

Brandon Scott introduced a $15 million bill that would subsidize the city’s efforts to eliminate any remnants of its racist housing laws, the Baltimore Sun reports.

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“As much as we have a storied history,” he said, “we also have a history we don’t like to talk about: We have a history of racial inequity.”

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Brandon Scott, who is running for governor of Maryland, said the proposed bill would “develop polices, practices and strategic investments to reverse disparity trends based on race, gender or income,” and to “develop and implement an equity action plan.”

“Unfortunately, I think many of the assessments will show we are lagging behind in progressing toward equity,” Scott said. “We have to change that.”

Brandon Scott said the city has a long history of structural and institutional racism that needs to be rectified. While the city has improved on efforts to diversify its housing staff through hiring, he says still they “have to make sure they aren’t operating off policies that are written 20 or 30 years ago.”


“If we’re truly going to deal with inequity,” Scott said, “we can’t do it outside of city government until we deal with it inside city government.”

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City Councilwoman Shannon Sneed, shares Scott’s sentiments on the proposed bill.

“We want fairness across the board,” she said. “I just hope it won’t be a challenge. I hope we’ll get support. Folks say they want equity but then they don’t want to put resources toward it.”