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Maryland REALTORS® Address Housing Gaps with “Open Doors to Stronger Neighborhoods” Campaign

By Tanya Svoboda
June 2021

The people of Maryland are disappointed with housing options and affordability in the state. The results of a poll conducted by American Strategies for Maryland REALTORS® confirmed that Marylanders feel what housing statistics show: prices are too high, affordable housing options are scarce, and people of color face even larger obstacles than their White counterparts in their pursuit of homeownership.

“The results from this poll confirm what we’ve seen and heard with regard to the struggles people are facing with housing opportunity,” said Dee Dee Miller, 2021 Maryland REALTORS® President.

Maryland has the 11th largest housing deficit in the country, according to a Freddie Mac Report. The lack of inventory, combined with the fact that the median home price has increased by 28% from 2015-2020, has made it more difficult than ever for first-time homebuyers to purchase a home. Additionally, 60% of people responded that they felt people of color faced different challenges than their White counterparts during their home search.

Raymond, an African American respondent to the American Strategies poll notes, “I think it makes it harder for my culture to buy than some because people are always biased to whether we can afford it or not.”

Real estate professionals in the state are stepping up to address these housing concerns.

The “Open Doors to Stronger Neighborhoods” Campaign Confronts Maryland’s Housing Issues

Maryland REALTORS® are taking direct action to combat the state’s housing issues. Their Open Doors to Stronger Neighborhoods campaign focuses on creating and supporting policies to expand housing opportunities for all Marylanders.  To do this they will:

  • Create a workgroup staffed by the Department of Housing and Community Development to recommend strategies to close the homeownership gap.
  • Strengthen homebuyer assistance programs.
  • Expand local accessory dwelling unit laws to provide more housing options.
  • Increase residential density for certain commercial properties.
  • Provide tax incentives for existing homeowners who free up affordable housing units.

Additionally, the campaign supports legislation that requires property managers to register with the Maryland Real Estate Commission. “This will close a hole in the enforcement powers of the Real Estate Commission who has terminated the real estate license of real estate agents engaged in illegal property management activities but then have also been able to continue practicing real estate property management as an unlicensed actor.”

Maryland is a great place to live, that’s why the demand for housing is so high. The Maryland REALTORS® Open Doors to Stronger Neighborhoods campaign is fighting to make sure first-time homebuyers, homebuyers of color, and women have equal access to homeownership opportunities in the state.


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