Community Development Network of Maryland

 


March 3, 2017
CDN Members and Friends:
  
Thirty-nine days till the end of the Maryland General Assembly. Forgive me for sending this update so late in the session. As you can see, it has been an extremely busy one for CDN.

This email outlines CDN's legislative priorities, status of those priorities, and how you can get involved. CDN derived its policy agenda based on conversations during our regional coalition meetings throughout the state, and ideas from our Policy Committee. We finally have bill numbers and essential information about our primary legislative goals. 

If you click on the bill number, the link will take you to the Maryland General Assembly website where you can find more information about the legislation.

It is important your legislators hear from you! They already hear from me everyday. Please take a moment to contact your legislators about these important initiatives!

We would like to thank our sponsors of the legislation you see below. They are dedicated to community development in Maryland.

We will be sending updates throughout the rest of the General Assembly session.  

 

CDN proposes legislation to increase dollars for community development 
                   
HB1514/ SB812 Establishes the Community Development Fund. The Fund will be administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, with advice and guidance from an oversight board created in the legislation. The Fund can be used for activities such as affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, community organizing, community services, housing and financial counseling, small business and main street development, etc. It is designed to provide critical operating dollars to nonprofits to ensure community needs are met in Maryland. Both bills will be heard next week.  Contact your legislators and urge them to support SB812 and SB1514! You can find your legislator here.

HB690 Community development nonprofits have used these credits to diversify their funding and create amazing programming or build/expand housing or community projects. This legislation expands the amount of credits from $1.75million to $3million. This bill was heard last week.  Contact your Delegates on the Ways and Means Committee to pass this legislation! The members of the Committee can be found  here .

CDN proposes legislation addressing vacant, blighted and abandoned properties statewide after working with allies during the interim.
 
CDN, in partnership with the Maryland Association of Counties, Maryland Municipal League, and the Maryland Bankers Association, have been working with Delegate Holmes, Chair of the Real Property Subcommittee, to craft legislation that provide tools for counties and municipalities to address vacant, abandoned an d blighted properties. We conducted a survey of counties and municipalities (results found here ) that helped us with this legislation. Here are the bills which are the result of this work:

SB957 / HB1168 Enables counties and municipalities to create Land Banks as a tool for eliminating blight in their communities.This bill has broad support! Contact House Environment and Transportation Committee members here and Senate Budget and Taxation Committee members here to support this bill!

SB875 / HB1048 Changes the Foreclosed Property Registry to have information entered by the banks earlier in the foreclosure process (the Order to Docket stage) so counties and municipalities are able to see who is responsible for a blighted foreclosed property. This also has broad support. The House version is being passed out of Committee today. the Senate version was heard this week. Contact Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee members here to support this bill!

SB1033 / HB702 Seeks to define vacant and abandoned property and create a certification process to expedite foreclosure if the property is vacant, blighted and abandoned. A special work group has been set up to amend HB702 to make it work. 

SB823 / HB659 Creates a task force to study Tax Sale in Maryland. The tax sale process is predatory and does not help get vacant properties to productive use in an effective way. While the Center for Community Process has recommended a new system for tax sale in Maryland, a task force will enable all jurisdictions to come together in agreement with the new system. Contact the members of the House Ways and Means Committee here to support HB659. SB823 is being heard next week.

CDN's Foreclosure and Housing Counseling related legislation: 

HB26/ SB247 requires banks send a notice if a foreclosure sale is postponed or cancelled. This legislation has passed the House and the Senate! Success!!

HB106 CDN asked the Administration to sponsor this legislation to make changes to the homebuyer education requirements for clients who want to use the Maryland Mortgage Program. Amendments include specific wording to allow for online homebuyer education, portability of the certificate, and requiring clients to take homebuyer education before they sign a contract of sale. This bill is stuck in committee. Urge the members of the Environment and Transportation Committe e here to have them pass this legislation.

HB1515/ SB936 strengthens the foreclosure mediation process by adding more transparency, ensuring the secured party is prepared with real options for the homeowner, and strengthening the roll of the ALJ to hold the secured party accountable.  Contact the members of the Real Property Subcommittee (in the Environment and Transportation Committe e) here (scroll down) and the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committ ee here to pass this important legislation!

HB200/ SB588 adds funds to the Maryland Housing Counseling Fund by increasing the filing fee banks pay per foreclosure from $300-$500. This bill failed in Committee in the House, and so we're hoping to revive it in the Senate. Contact Senators in the Judicial Proceedings Committe e here to pass this bill!

HB172 / SB728 - The HOME Act

Maryland is one of several states where it is legal to deny rental housing to anyone with housing choice vouchers, SSI and other forms of income. The HOME Act makes it illegal to discriminate based on source of income. This is important legislation to help de-concentrate poverty and allow families to move to areas of opportunity to improve their quality of life.

Contact your Delegates and Senators to pass HB172 and SB728! The members of the Committee can be found here .
HB41 creates a registry for Common Ownership Communities. 

In order to really know how many co-ops, homeowners associations and condominium associations there are in Maryland, we hope to pass this legislation which will require them to register. This is also important if there are complaints or notices that SDAT needs to send to them. 

 

HB41 has passed the House of Delegates. Contact your Senators to pass this legislation!

Capital Budget

ACTION NEEDED!  The Governor's 2018 budget includes cuts to critical programs. Please contact the members of the House Appr opriations Capital Budget Subcommittee here (scroll down) and the Senate Capital Budget Subcommittee here (scroll down) to tell them to keep these critical programs!

FUND
Governor's Allocation
Department of Legislative Services
(DLS) recommendation

CDN Action
Community Legacy
$6 million (level funding)
Cut $1 million
REJECT the DLS recommendation, and add more funding to CL for a total of $10million!
 
SEED Anchor Institution funding
$0
Add to $5 million
ACCEPT the DLS recommendation! This Fund is statewide for hospitals and higher education institutions to use for revitalizing their communities! It was mandated spending in the legislature last year (HB1400)
 
Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative
 
$3 million capital,
$750,000 operating
 $12 million in capital total
ACCEPT the DLS recommendation! This fund is for revitalizing neighborhoods in the inner Baltimore Beltway communities (city and county).
 
Rental Housing Works
$10 million
No recommendation
Urge the committee to add more funding for this critical affordable housing fund.

Shelter and Transitional Facilities Grant program
$3 million capital
Recommend to keep
SUPPORT this fund. It was mandated legislation last year and move to Capital.

As always, please let me know if you have questions or thoughts on any of the items in this e-newsletter.  We want to hear from you!  
  
Thanks!
  

Odette Ramos
Executive Director
Community Development Network of Maryland
  

SAVE THE DATE!

Sept. 27-October 11 

Community Development Week 

Featuring the Maryland Housing Conference, Counselor Connections, events around the state, and CDN's Annual Meeting


CDN supports the following legislation (advocates and legislators have asked for our support on these): 

 

SB884/HB1134 creates a commission to study the impact that the repeal of the federal Dodd-Frank law would have in Maryland. Dodd-Frank set up the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau (CFPB) which regulates the lending and banking industry. 

 

HB134 moves the homeless services divisions from the Department of Human Resources to the Department of Housing and Community Development.

 

HB1441 adds funding to the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust Fund by transferring any unused dollars from the Homeowner's Tax Credit.

 

HB1354 creates the National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund which would provide funding for development activities in the National Capital region. There is no funding in this legislation.

 

HB520 Creates a registry for property managers statewide. CDN supports this legislation with amendments that include current county data bases sharing with the statewide, specific application requirements, etc. This is the precurser to property management licensing.

 

HB689/SB813 expands the timeframe for participants to take advantage of the Rental Assistance Program which is an emergency allotment to help families and individuals get out of short-term homelessness. Currently participants can only receive the subsidy for 1 year. The legislation as amended would provide the subsidy up to 2 years.

 

HB269/HB531 The amended bill codifies the Housing Navigator program at the Department of Human Resources and adds funds to that program.

 

SB465 creates the Nonprofit Interest-free Micro Bridge Loan program to help nonprofits waiting for contract payments from government sources. 

 

HB789 changes the definition of "good standing" for common ownership communities to vote on bylaws and governing documents, and changes the quorum number to 55%

 

About CDN 

 

The Community Development Network of Maryland's purpose is to promote, strengthen and advocate for Maryland's community development industry which serves urban, rural and suburban communities across the state.


 

CDN is a statewide member organization made up of over 180 member organizations across the state. CDN represents the critically important nonprofit, small developer and community based organization members of the industry. 


 

Find out more on our website here.