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Developer knows benefit of mixed-income housing

Daniel Henson, president of The Henson Development Company, Inc., had to go against what lenders wanted to build the $12 million Fells Point Station.

“Our lenders would normally prefer that we do either 100 percent affordable [housing] or 100 percent market-rate,” Henson, former Baltimore city housing commissioner, said. “Well, I don’t want to do that… I’ve seen the benefit of, for example, having affordable people live next to market-rate people.”

He said having people of lesser means live next to wealthier residents can inspire some people to want more from life, something he has personal experience with.

“I grew up in public housing. So I kind of know this concept of living in a neighborhood or living in a community where you have people essentially put on a suit and tie every morning and go out to work,” Henson said. “I used to say to myself when I was a kid ‘One day I want to do that.’”

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