O'Malley Announces $15M Housing Initiative
Governor Martin O’Malley today, joined by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Secretary Raymond A. Skinner and affordable housing developers and advocates, announced a new $15 million housing initiative, “Rental Housing Works,” designed to support jobs and provide much-needed affordable rental housing for Maryland’s hardworking families, including Maryland’s seniors and individuals with special needs.
The new initiative will provide funding to up to 20 affordable housing projects and support more than 1,100 jobs in Maryland.
“Today we are announcing Rental Housing Works, a new job creation initiative that is designed to close the gap in our rental housing needs, invest in our economy, and create jobs,” said Governor O’Malley. “Here in Maryland, we’re facing a shortfall of nearly 127,000 affordable rental housing units over the next four years. Through Rental Housing Works, we will work to address those critical housing needs by proposing to invest $15 million from our capital budget in this new initiative – which would allow us to leverage up to 20 times that amount in private sector funding. And, it would allow us to build over 1,700 new affordable rental housing units, support nearly 1,100 jobs, and generate $36 million in state and local taxes over the next decade and a half.”
Rental Housing Works nearly doubles the amount of funding in the capital budget for rental housing projects. Over the past several years, $15.5 million in State funding has been provided for these programs annually. In FY2013, the total amount of funding for these programs is $30.5 million, including the Rental Housing Works initiative—the highest funding level since the programs were consolidated in FY1991.
Rental Housing Works will also help address a critical lack of affordable rental housing in Maryland, which faces an estimated shortage of approximately 127,000 affordable units by 2015. The new initiative provides critical gap funding for shovel-ready projects that are already in the pipeline, allowing Maryland to focus on resources and developments that will positively impact the State’s economy as quickly as possible. It will leverage significant resources from the private sector, generate $36 million in local and state tax revenue over 15 years, and help stabilize neighborhoods hard-hit by foreclosures.
“The Rental Housing Works initiative will allow Maryland to continue its high level of affordable rental housing production into Fiscal Year 2013, despite the winding down of federal stimulus resources and the continued fragility of the financial market,” said Secretary Skinner. “Due to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s cap authority and pre-existing rental housing processes, we anticipate that we will be able implement Rental Housing Works quickly and provide an immediate positive impact to the state’s economy.”
Trudy McFall noted that this jobs housing initiative was of the highest possible priority for the coalition of affordable housing developers and has been a true partnership with DHCD. She said, “We are extremely grateful to the Governor for his decision to include this in his budget and it is a win/win for all. It creates high quality private sector jobs and will provide badly needed rental housing.”
Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, Maryland has one of the most effective multifamily lending programs in the country. Using State resources and federal tax credits, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has helped finance the production and preservation of more than 10,000 rental housing units in 113 projects. Those 113 projects put more than $1.5 billion into the State’s economy from Fiscal Year 2008 through Fiscal Year 2011, generated thousands of jobs and produced critically needed affordable rental housing during one of the worst economic downturns in our nation’s history while the housing finance market was at a virtual standstill. In Fiscal Year 2011, DHCD financed the production of 2,255 units in 24 projects, putting more than $364 million into the State’s economy and creating or preserving the full time equivalent of 1,471 jobs.
The FY2013 budget will continue the Administration’s commitment to job creation, rebuilding the state’s infrastructure, building state-of-the-art classrooms, and contributing to Maryland’s communities. This year’s capital budget alone will support approximately 22,000 direct jobs for Marylanders. The FY2013 budget will be the sixth budget the Governor has submitted to the General Assembly that complies with Spending Affordability guidelines. By choosing to strategically reform and reduce the size of state government and make tough decisions, Maryland remains one of only nine states to maintain a Triple A Bond Rating, a seal of fiscal responsibility certified by all three major rating agencies that allows the State to maximize the impact of its capital budget.
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) works with partners to promote affordable housing opportunities and revitalize great places for Maryland citizens to live, work and prosper. To learn more about DHCD and its programs, visit www.mdhousing.org.