A Baltimore Sun analysis in a pair of articles forecasts that Baltimore City and its five suburban counties (including PG County) will be 20,000 homes short in four years and 100,000 by the year 2030. This provides significant concerns over affordable housing and fears that workers will be pushed further into the outskirts; lengthening commutes or pricing out workers from the area all together. These trends in large part, according to Sun researchers, are because of continued economic expansion brought on by the area’s proximity to the nation’s capital and concurrent residential growth restrictions.
The study, likely brought about by the UMD Center for Smart Growth’s Reality Check Plus, adds to a growing body of awareness that much of the land in the Washington-Baltimore area is already developed. Local planning bodies have to balance often-revenue losing residential developments and revenue generating commercial development with traffic, jobs-to-housing ratios and affordability concerns. Local political pressure to limit growth only compounds the greater regional problem.
Here is a quote from the article:
“There seems to be an assumption that metropolitan growth patterns are the result of a free market,” said Robert Puentes, a fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “Nothing can be further from the truth. It’s the regulatory regimes in place that are actually causing this development and growth to happen. … There is a real opportunity to do something different.”
>Baltimore Sun(7/26/06): “Searching For Solutions”
>Baltimore Sun(7/23/06): “The Coming Housing Crunch“