Here is Home

Salisbury is an ever-growing, diverse community with more than 35,000 people that encounters a variety of challenges similar to many cities across the country – economic stress, educational resources and public health. When the pandemic plagued our country, a new challenge rose to the top of this list – the housing crisis. With millions of people out of work, the ability to afford reasonable rents and/or find adequate supplemental housing disappeared. Simply put – residents were losing the ability to have a roof over their family’s heads. It is because of this, our mayor – Jacob R. Day – created the Here is Home Initiative.

Unveiled on September 29, 2021, the Here is Home Initiative addresses the shortage of available housing while minimizing the eviction crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In terms of new residential developments, the initiative targets (but not limited to): single family homes, apartments, assisted living facilities, and senior housing.

Here is Home addresses three specific areas:

  • Incentive to Develop – This allows for all development fees to be waived (within a defined timeline).
  • Ensure Affordability – This establishes a minimum payment in lieu of taxes (removing city taxes).
  • Reduction in Homelessness – A focus on creating a dedicated home village that consists of 30 individual homes along with supporting showers, bathrooms, mail & storage facilities.

Without diving too deep into the guidelines for the initiative, the easiest way to wrap one’s head around this program is to highlight its primary goal – accelerate the construction of residential development throughout Salisbury. In order to accomplish this, the program allows for full or partial waiver of annexation fees, permitting fees, comprehensive connection charges, and/or development assessment fees (as long as the developer meets the eligible requirements). The way to monitor the development and ensure projects remain on track is by requiring all fees to be paid upfront and then reimbursed back to the developer based on meeting project deadlines.

Within the first 90 days of the start of the initiative, the city received more than 8,000 applications for homes, apartments, and assisted living facilities. In response to this initiation application surge, Mayor Jacob R. Day stated “That represents a 60% increase in homes and population. Our total residential assessable base is $800 Million. The submitted construction applications represent another $1.4 billion in housing. That’s a 175% increase in residential real estate value and a possible 67% increase in our total assessable base.”

As of March 2022, our city is looking at nearly 8,100 new homes built over the next five years, consisting of about 5,000 apartment units, 1,400 single family detached homes, 600 townhomes, 400+ townhomes or apartments,376 duplexes, and 161 assisted living units. These development areas are the most since 1990 and provide proof that the initiative is giving housing developers the ability to build in Salisbury and better the overall quality of life.

Direct Impact – Fisher Architecture

The Here is Home Initiative certainly has the ability to make a significant impact within the Salisbury community in addition to providing other Maryland communities a blueprint to replicate. Here at Fisher Architecture, we pride ourselves in being leaders within the community and thanks to the Here is Home Initiative we are:

Involved in at least six apartment projects totalling 800 – 1,000 new units
Working on the development of the old Salisbury Mall which will bring in 150 new single family homes and 250 apartments (*This is significant since the land sat underdeveloped for roughly 20 years)
Assisting in the redevelopment of the 500 Riverside property (*directly across the river from Marina Landing & has the potential to bring 350 apartment units)

As our community continues to build and transform, additional opportunities and needs will grow. We’ll continue to work alongside our development partners and our elected officials to provide needed resources throughout Salisbury. We are excited to be part of this much needed initiative.

Keith Fisher Headshot

Keith Fisher
AIA, NCARB 
Principal, Licensed Architect
Licensed in MD, DE, PA, VA, DC, NJ, FL

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