The State and Local Organizing Award recognizes outstanding achievement in organizing activity at the state or local level that furthers NLIHC’s mission: achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.
The fourth annual State and Local Organizing Award will go to the Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC) for its work on a state-level campaign to secure an increase of $17.5 million in state funding for rental housing, through the new Rental Housing Works Initiative.
Recognizing Governor Martin O’Malley’s priority of including a major jobs package in his FY13 budget, MAHC crafted a proposal for the new program, meeting with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the governor’s office, and key legislative budget leaders, and emphasized the jobs that would be generated through greater state investment in affordable rental housing development. MAHC also coordinated outreach to the governor and the state’s Budget Secretary among its 155 member organizations.
As a result of these efforts, Governor O’Malley announced that he would keep existing funding for rental housing programs intact in his FY13 budget, and requested an additional $15 million for the new initiative. Shortly after this announcement, MAHC held a Housing Day advocacy event in Annapolis. Over 200 advocates attended, meeting with their legislators and expressing support for the initiative. The legislature ultimately increased funding even beyond the governor’s request, allocating $17.5 million to the Rental Housing Works Initiative.
The initiative had great success in its first year and Governor O’Malley recently included $25 million for the program in his FY14 budget, a $10 million increase over last year’s budget request.
North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People for its work to establish the North Dakota Housing Incentive Fund, the state’s housing trust fund.
Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association for leading the campaign to defeat a ballot initiative to repeal Massachusetts’ affordable housing law.
Neighborhood Partnerships/ Oregon Housing Alliance for leading the campaign that culminated in the passage of the 2009 Housing Opportunity Bill
Community Alliance of Tenants for organizing efforts with low income tenants that led to the passage of the Housing Opportunity Bill, significant improvements to Oregon’s landlord-tenant law, defeat of a proposal to fund a baseball stadium with dedicated affordable housing funds, and led Multnomah County, OR to adopt a rental housing inspections code.