Inside The Port Covington Community Benefits Negotiations | WYPR

Inside The Port Covington Community Benefits Negotiations

Sep 16, 2016

Proposed Port Covington development.
Credit Sagamore Development

The Baltimore City Council is set to deliver the final vote on the Port Covington development project.

On Wednesday the Board of Estimates approved the $100 million community benefits deal. The deal, which includes a commitment to hire 30 percent of all infrastructure construction workers from Baltimore and mandates that 20 percent of housing units built must be affordable, was reached through negotiations between Sagamore and several local community groups. Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) was one of the groups at the table and the organization contends that the community benefits deal will help residents of Baltimore in an unprecedented way. Critics say the deal doesn’t go far enough to ensure equity for Baltimore’s poorest residents, citing loopholes in the affordable housing commitment and low wages for construction workers.  Bishop Douglas Miles is the Pastor of Koinonia Baptist Church and a co-chair emeritus of BUILD. He joins Tom to talk about the community negotiations and the final deal. We’ll also hear from Monisha Cherayil, an attorney with the Public Justice Center. She shares her concerns about the deal, particularly its somewhat conditional promises of affordable housing.