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Jonathon Rondeau Joins Governor Moore in Support of HB538

February 20, 2024
President & CEO, Jonathon Rondeau, was honored to speak today on Gov. Wes Moore's panel to discuss the implications of HB 538: The Housing Expansion and Affordability Act of 2024.

Jonathon Rondeau, President & CEO of The Arc Central Chesapeake Region (The Arc) and Board Chair of Chesapeake Neighbors joined Governor Wes Moore on Tuesday to advocate for housing expansion and support Section 7-504 of the Governor’s bill HB538: Affordable Housing Zoning Density and Permitting (Housing Expansion and Affordability Act of 2024).

Maryland is experiencing a housing crisis – no community has enough affordable housing to support the needs of its residents. Recognizing the challenges Maryland is facing, Governor Moore’s bill intends to introduce new tools and resources for developers like Chesapeake Neighbors to leverage as they create additional affordable housing opportunities. Specifically, section 7-504 introduces density bonuses, which allow developers to tailor affordable housing to a community’s needs with greater nuance, which is especially important when seeking to create diverse and inclusive communities.

Today, The Arc serves over 3,000 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families throughout the region, supporting people with IDD to live the lives they choose by creating opportunities, promoting respect and equity, and providing access to services. Building affordable housing has been a natural part of this work since The Arc’s founding in 1961 and has accelerated in recent years in response to the housing crisis.

Recognizing the need throughout the community for quality, affordable, and accessible housing, The Arc founded Chesapeake Neighbors in 2007 to accelerate the development of new affordable housing opportunities for people with disabilities and low-income families. Today, Chesapeake Neighbors has created more than 70 affordable housing units in Central Maryland and the Eastern Shore and specializes in creating mixed-income communities that blend affordable housing with market-rate housing.

“Chesapeake Neighbors believes in small, scattered-site housing, and density bonuses are a resource that allows us the flexibility and creativity to continue developing affordable housing at scale while staying true to our mission,” said Rondeau. “It is essential that organizations like Chesapeake Neighbors also have resources to survive and compete in the housing market – we are an important part of creating a greater housing supply for Marylanders.”

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