BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan announced Wednesday that more than $200 million in financing tools and new programs will be made available to create new affordable housing opportunities in Maryland. 

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will administer the funds to produce more than 6,000 additional units statewide amid rising construction costs and interest rates, according to state officials.

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“During our administration, we have provided financing and tax credits to create or preserve more than 22,000 affordable rental units across the state—a level of production never before seen in the State of Maryland,” Hogan said. “To continue to build on these accomplishments, we are meeting the challenges created during the pandemic head on with a responsive set of tools to address shortfalls and create new housing opportunities.”

The following updates and new programs aim to address the shortfalls for affordable housing projects:

  • Increasing the Rental Housing Financing Program funds available for the 2022 competitive application round, which will be announced later this year.
  • Increasing the amount of Rental Housing Works financing available for ongoing projects that have yet to close financing.
  • Establishing the Construction Relief Fund to provide additional financing for previously funded 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and Multifamily Bond projects that are experiencing cost shortfalls.
  • Establishing the Development Relief Fund for projects that previously received a 9% LIHTC award. 
  • Establishing the Multifamily Capital Fund which will provide additional financing in FY23 for projects related to the State of Maryland’s economic growth and development activities and initiatives.
  • Establishing the Emerging Developer Pre-Development Loan Fund to support projects by newer developers working with historically undercapitalized communities.
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The COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on supply chains, construction costs, interest rates, and labor. This, in turn, has impacted the department’s ability to respond to a shortage of affordable housing, Maryland Secretary of Housing and Community Development Kenneth Holt said.

The department has been working with its development partners to find solutions to the problems created by the pandemic, Holt said. 

The new initiatives will “ensure the state has a successful economic recovery that includes new affordable housing opportunities for Marylanders,” he said.

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The department will launch a pilot initiative expanding the use of Rental Housing Works above the $3.5 million cap to assist projects with large financing gaps and capitalize on economic growth and development opportunities in fiscal year 2023, according to state officials.

CBS Baltimore Staff