From the Field: Maryland Rental Housing Works Program Hits Major Milestone

The Maryland Rental Housing Works (RHW), a program of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) created six years ago to stimulate investment in quality, affordable rental housing and to create jobs, recently surpassed the $1 billion investment milestone. Since 2011, RHW has used $107 million in state RHW loan funds to leverage more than $1.1 billion in private investment – preserving 6,370 affordable homes in 56 properties across the state while creating over 9,700 jobs, according to the DHCD. 

The Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC), an NLIHC state partner, worked with DHCD to create the RHW Program to allow developers to make maximum use of federal bonding authority for affordable rental housing. RHW funds are deployed as low-interest loans to Maryland businesses that pair them with bond funds to finance the preservation and modernization of affordable rental housing. 

“We could not be more excited about reaching the $1 billion mark,” said former MAHC President Ivy Dench-Carter. “MAHC members work hard every year to secure additional funding for this hugely successful program, and the numbers speak for themselves – Rental Housing Works really works. We thank the governor and the legislature for their support.”

The program has strong bipartisan support. Governor Larry Hogan, recognizing the benefits of public-private partnerships, allocated $20 million in next year’s budget for RHW, and the General Assembly added another $5 million. That appropriation will bring total state investments to $138.7 million.

“MAHC is really pleased that this program has become so successful in such a short amount of time. DHCD staff really hit the ground running and our members were able to start using RHW funds quickly,” said MAHC President Mike Pitchford. “This is a great example of how the state government and the public sector were able to think creatively and work together to develop a successful public-private partnership.”

To learn more about the RHW program, contact Miranda Darden, executive director of MAHC at: [email protected] or ‪443-758-6270.