Community Development Network of Maryland


Legislative Wrap Up April 9, 2014
CDN Members and Friends:
This issue of our e-newsletter provides an overview of the results of this year's General Assembly session, and its impact on community development in Maryland.
CDN had a great legislative session this year. Read on to find out more!


We outlined our Policy Agenda in our last email. The status on our major priorities are listed directly below. Please review the full agenda on our website here


Multifamily Rental Housing Programs Efficiency Act passes the General Assembly and is headed for the Governor's signature! This is critical legislation for community development               
What this legislation is about: HB453, DHCD's Multifamily Rental Housing Programs Efficiency Act, streamlines the rental housing programs in the Department of Housing and Community Development into one Rental Housing Program. 
CDN supported this legislation particularly for its efforts to streamline the local resolution/support process. The bill takes 19 different program regulations and creates one unified system which protects local jurisdictions ability to govern land use and zoning, yet allows housing projects to move through DHCD's funding process more expeditiously. This aligns the State with the Federal guidelines around financing with low-income housing tax credits.
Impact on community development:  This legislation makes it easier for anyone working on projects with state financing to go through one program, not one of 5 programs, to obtain financing. More importantly, there are now fewer roadblocks for important low income and mixed income housing developments to be built in areas of opportunity. 
The streamlining and amendments to the local resolution requirement is something that CDN has been advocating for several years through the QAP review process.  This is a huge win for CDN and for all the partners involved in advocating for this legislation.  Many thanks to all who worked on this, and particularly Secretary Skinner for his initiative on this important legislation.
Budget results for Community Legacy, Neighborhood Business Works, and other important community development programs     
Here are the budget results for important community development programs:
Community Legacy: $6 million (full funding requested in the Governor's budget and supported by CDN)
Neighborhood Business Works: $4.2 million ($1 million less than requested in the Governor's Budget and requested by CDN). The NBW request included a $1 million increase for financing businesses that located in areas to eliminate food deserts.  So this cut is basically the extra million, but leaves in the food deserts piece in place.
Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund: $7.5 million ($2.5 million less than requested in the Governor's budget and supported by CDN) - note here, the cut would have been to $5 million but the Senate Capital Budget Sub-Committee brought the funding level back up.
Rental Housing Works: $24.7 million (more funding than requested in the Governor's budget and supported by CDN and MAHC). Within this total there is roughly $6 million dedicated to a new component of the program to compliment the Federal RAD (rental assistance demonstration) program, which supports the capital needs of public housing.
Impact on community development: These programs have always been helpful for neighborhood revitalization across the state, and will continue to do so given the funding provided in this year's approved budget.
Rural Maryland Prosperity Investment Fund headed to the Governor's desk for his signature!                
What this legislation is about: SB137 passed the Senate in February and the House recently, ready for the Governor's signature. This legislation reorganizes the Rural Maryland Prosperity Fund to include dollars for nonprofit community development organizations in the 18 rural counties.  There is also funding for other important initiatives in those 18 counties.  The Fund itself currently does not have funding, but the Rural Maryland Council is working on that through other channels. 
Impact on community development: Once there is funding, this Fund will provide nonprofit community development organizations operating grants. 
Baltimore City Committee: Baltimore City Homestead Tax Credit Carry Over Victory!
During the summer of 2013, CDN's Baltimore City Committee went through a process to determine its recommendations to the Mayor to accomplish her goal of bringing in 10,000 families in 10 years. Of the 4 initiatives that rose to the top was the idea of transferring the Homestead Tax Credit if a resident owner of a house in Baltimore City moves from one house to another within in the City. 
What this legislation is about: The final version of HB920 makes 50% of the Homestead Tax Credit a "carry over" to a family's next house in the City, then decreases the amount by 10% each year for 5 years (after a year in the new house the family can apply for the Homestead Tax Credit for that house, and decide which is better, but can't use both). The program is capped at $3million per year, and lasts 5 years. The clock starts in July, 2015. This only applies to homeowners who have owned their original home for more than 5 years, and move to a new house within city boundaries.
The original version of this legislation included a 100% carry over, and would last 10 years, with no cap.
Impact on community development: The impact of HB 920 is that more people will consider staying in the City if they need to move for a larger house, a better school district, or to downsize. Property taxes are a big obstacle in decisions for families to stay in Baltimore City. In addition, Delegate McIntosh introduced and passed a whole package of tax bills that would improve they way properties are assessed potentially collecting more in tax revenue for the City. This is a victory for the Baltimore City Committee who had conversations with Delegate McIntosh over the summer and fall of 2013 regarding this priority.
(By the way, it is the intent of CDN to organize each region of the state in a similar manner, so it is possible to support regional  initiatives. If you are interested in participating in your region, please let us know.)
Other CDN News:
--Save The Date:  November 7, 2014 for CDN's Annual Meeting at the Federal Reserve in Baltimore.
--CDN is seeking participants in some of its committees: Policy, Membership, and Events. Please contact Odette to participate.
--CDN's application to obtain 501c3 status is headed to the IRS!  CDN is ready for this chapter in its development thanks to our strong membership and support from multiple partners.
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!  Also, please let me know if you are interested in serving on our Policy Committee.

Odette Ramos
Executive Director
Community Development Network of Maryland


CDN along with several Host Committee organizations is sponsoring Gubernatorial Forum on Community Development!
Monday, May 12, 3-5pm with a meet and greet reception after the forum. The event takes place at Turf Valley Inn and Conference Center. 
All candidates from each party listed on the Board of Elections Website have been invited.  Confirmed candidates are:
Anthony Brown (D)
Doug Gansler (D)
Charles Lollar (R)
Heather Mizeur (D)
Cindy Walsh (D)
To register for this free event, click here
Questions are being developed by the Host Committee. Each Host Committee member is submitting questions for consideration.  For CDN, paid members can suggest questions and the CDN Board will make the final decisions on our questions to be considered by the Host Committee.  If you have a question you'd like asked, and are a paid member of CDN, click here. To become a member or renew early, click here.  
We look forward to seeing you there!      
Other legislation CDN was interested in:
HB268 required LLCs to provide additional contact information. CDN was interested in this so that it will be easier to find an owner of a problem property if that property is owed by an LLC. This bill failed in committee and we are working with Delegate Lafferty to help more significantly on this next year.
HB451 is DHCD's bill which adds organizations who can provide healthy food in food deserts as eligible for funding through the Neighborhood BusinessWorks program. CDN supported the initiative because adding healthy food in food deserts also sparks other community development. This bill passed the House and Senate and will be signed by the Governor soon.
HB274 in its final version states that banks would only be able to go after a former owner of a house that foreclosed or sold at short sale for the loss for up to 2 years (deficiency judgment, but civil action is up to 3 years). Currently the limit is 12 years. CDN is interested because as it currently stands households are deterred from pursing a short sale in the face of this burden. This bill passed both the House and Senate, but required a conference committee to reconcile the two versions.  The conference report (final version described here) was adopted and the bill is headed to the Governor for signature.
HB595 makes an exception for the "arms length" sale rule in the cases of soon to be foreclosed properties for CDFIs. There is a CDFI in Boston that buys the note from the mortgage company where a foreclosure is about to occur, and sells it back to the family at the reduced rate. They are planning on coming in to Maryland to do the same and need this exemption. This bill passed the House and Senate and is expected to be signed by the Governor.
SB811 The bill's provisions allow small businesses like those in "mainstreet" areas, to raise funds without being required to fulfill security registration and filing requirements in specified circumstances. Meaning small business can use a crowdfunding website or create one, without having to register and pay for filing. This will enable residents to invest in small businesses in their local areas that begin to raise funding in this manner. The bill passed the House and Senate and is headed for the Governor's desk. 
HB366 We reported the status of the HOME Act in our last e-newsletter. We are encouraged by the negotiations that happened between the landlords and the HOME Act Coalition (of which CDN is a member) during this year's legislative session. We will support the HOME Act Coalition's leadership as they negotiate further over the interim.




The Community Development Network of Maryland, formerly the Maryland ABCD Network, is a member organization of over 130 nonprofits, small businesses, and individuals interested and actively participating in community development across the state.  CDN's mission is to engage and strengthen Maryland's community development industry and encourage comprehensive community development through advocacy, capacity building and partnerships.


CDN just completed a strategic planning process. The summary of the strategic plan can be found on our website here.


More details about the strategic priorities of CDN and how members can be involved and benefit are forthcoming.