Affordable housing is a top issue for many American cities. Baltimore is no exception. It’s a place situated close to the nation’s capital, has a booming tech industry community, and is home to a growing population with a desirable young demographic. Low-income families and young graduates looking for work, however, also form part of the Baltimore community. But they don’t have the same ease of access to premium housing in the central locations of the city, and are thus compelled to look for less expensive alternatives.
The issue is gaining national traction. A December 2017 Newsweek article detailed what U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson heard on a listening tour: “While on the tour, Secretary Carson stressed to local government officials that too much federal assistance from HUD led to too much dependence on the agency.” This clearly demonstrates the need for affordable housing reform. Without changes made to the way America views and executes its policy on affordable housing, the crisis is bound to continue unabated.
“On the local level, cities and counties have taken continued steps in 2017 to house those in need of homes,” the Newsweek article continued. “San Diego announced it would issue $54 million in tax-exempt bonds to put towards building affordable housing units and Seattle announced $100 million in spending towards affordable housing in December.”
Industry expert Todd Lubar has weighed in with his view of the affordable housing crisis in Baltimore and across America in lieu of these legislative plans being discussed. In a recent interview with sales blog Affiliate Dork, Lubar detailed his opinions and predictions on affordable housing. Suburban neighborhoods hold the key to transforming communities to be updated with the advantages seen at locations in posh urban apartment buildings.
“Suburban neighborhoods are beginning to bring in the amenities that can only be found in urban areas,” Lubar said. “In these locations, people will find the typical types of housing, including town houses, apartment houses and single family homes. But in these new neighborhoods, they will be able to walk to work and their children’s activities. Also, the homes are so affordable that teachers, janitors, police officers and firefighters can all afford to live there.”
Todd Lubar certainly has a wealth of information about affordable housing as well as the the real estate market in general. A graduate of Syracuse University, Lubar serves as the president of TDL Global Ventures previously held executive positions at Legacy Financial Group, Charter Funding, and Crestar Mortgage Corporation. With over twenty years worth of experience in mortgage origination and real estate experience, he is frequently relied upon by colleagues for his opinions and views on different challenges facing the industry in Baltimore and elsewhere across America.
In a 2017 profile on Medium, Lubar was described as someone whose professional niche was underserved clients. As a result, he founded Legendary Financial and Legendary Properties to boost financial and real estate services to working families. Todd even used his own funds as a lending source and eventually settled upwards of 7,000 transactions.
Lubar isn’t the only one concerned about the lack of affordable housing in Baltimore. The Baltimore Sun recently covered a City of Baltimore Board of Estimates meeting where activists, policy advisors, and others urged board members to increase city funding for affordable housing. Members of the Baltimore Housing Roundtable appeared before the Board to encourage the city to borrow $20 million that would be earmarked for building affordable housing units as well as an additional $20 million that would deconstruct vacant buildings in a campaign being called “20/20.”
According to a recent Baltimore Brew article, the $40 million being requested by the Baltimore Housing Roundtable is not yet fully funded, but has been given considerable attention from the administration of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. The current mayor, who supported the Roundtable’s 20/20 plan during her 2016 election campaign, was criticized after Pugh’s budget director, Andrew Kleine, refused to meet with leaders of the group. Kleine later resigned his position for unrelated reasons.
Todd Lubar’s view is that obstructionistic policies, whether they are intentional or unintentional, are detrimental to improving access to affordable housing in major American cities like Baltimore. These views are shared by activist residents like Jennifer Kunze, who recently told The Baltimore Brew that the “[…] city is in crisis.” Kunze, a resident of the southwest area of the city, went on to say: “We have people sleeping in the streets, including during nights like last night when the temperatures were in the 20s. We have children who don’t have a safe place to lay their heads at night. We have decrepit housing. Just a few months ago, a house fell apart onto the sidewalk a block from my house.”
Lubar meets far too many people in his daily life as a real estate agent serving the underserved to sleep easily. He worries about many other issues as well, including the heroin and drug epidemic destroying the communities he serves. Affordable housing must be provided in order to see American communities thrive and prosper. This way, children and families are given ample opportunity to live in a place where they can be happy and healthy — something Todd Lubar wants for his family and all families in Baltimore.