The Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC), an NLIHC State Coalition Partner, is celebrating a recent state budget victory for affordable rental housing. The Maryland legislature passed an FY16 budget that includes $20 million for the state’s Rental Housing Works (RHW) program.
NLIHC honored MAHC in 2013 with the State and Local Organizing Award for its success in creating and securing funding for RHW (see Memo, 2/22/13). RHW provides subordinate gap financing for the creation or preservation of affordable rental housing financed through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Multifamily Bond Program and 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Projects requesting RHW funding must meet these programs’ requirements as described in the Maryland Qualified Allocation Plan and Multifamily Rental Financing Program Guide.
RHW is funded through the issuance of Maryland General Obligation Bonds. Initially funded at $17.5 million in FY13, the state legislature increased General Obligation Bonds for RHW to $20 million in FY14 and $24.73 million in FY15. However, Governor Larry Hogan’s (R) budget request for FY16 called for a $14.73 million cut to the program, which would have left RHW $14.73 million short of the amount needed to fund pending developments and keep funding level with FY15’s amount.
Faced with such a potentially significant cut, MAHC mobilized its constituency with the goal of obtaining $25 million for RHW in the FY16 budget. On February 12, MAHC convened more than 250 constituents and 20 legislators for their annual Housing Day. The attendees participated in more than 50 meetings with their legislators, pressing the legislators to adequately fund RHW.
According to Miranda Darden, MAHC Executive Director, “After Housing Day, MAHC members followed up with Capital Budget Subcommittee members, advocating for funding throughout the session.” Ms. Darden highlighted the strong support from “legislators in key positions who really fought for us, including Delegate Maggie McIntosh (D), House Appropriations Committee Chair; Delegate Adrienne Jones (D), Capital Budget Subcommittee Chair; Senator Ed DeGrange (D), Capital Budget Subcommittee Chair; and Senator Edward Kasemeyer (D), Senate Appropriations Committee Chair."
On April 13, the Maryland legislature approved a budget that included $20 million for RHW.
For more information, contact Miranda Darden, Executive Director, Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition, at firstname.lastname@example.org