[EAST]Baltimore: Not What Defines A City, photo by urbanfeel, some rights reserved under Creative Commons license.
Housing Authorities, Community Resource leaders, Realtors, and bankers across Maryland are coming together to begin developing the first-ever Maryland Housing Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has engaged the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth and its subcontractor Enterprise Community Partners Inc. to conduct the study.
The Housing Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan is designed to analyze housing needs within Maryland between 2020 and 2030 and propose a menu of recommendations, including new tools at the state and local levels to better align with current and future housing needs.
At the request of DHCD, the UMd National Center for Smart Growth and Enterprise Community Partners created an advisory group of stakeholders to draw on expertise and experiences across the state.
These 20 Advisory Group Members will provide ongoing feedback to the DHCD and the consultant team as the project moves forward. The members will represent local and regional housing interests and serve to connect state-level housing needs to local and regional housing efforts.
The Advisory Members have been given a substantial task via a Maryland legislative directive out of the 2018 Maryland General Assembly session. An Assessment of Affordable Housing needs in Maryland was ordered and detailed. The assessment must evaluate need based on income, age, and access to care and jobs; a plan must be developed to meet the needs uncovered; and a way to ensure affordable units are preserved after initial subsidies expire is to be included in the report as well.
The Advisory Members are expected to:
- Provide ongoing feedback about the factors shaping housing needs across the state and affecting Maryland residents.
- Assist the State of Maryland in prioritizing critical housing needs and proposed solutions.
- Assess the impact and feasibility of proposed changes to state-level policies, programs, or resources related to housing and community development.
- Assess the impact and feasibility of proposed recommendations affecting local governments.
- Assist with outreach to community members and resources including nonprofits, developers, and special populations.
The timetable is ambitious with draft recommendations due in June 2020. Advisory Group Members, are charged with attendance, attention, and participation in the consensus-styled development planned for the creation of the needs assessment. The members are further charged:
- Share local information and/or data to assist with development of the Housing Needs Assessment and Strategic Plan.
- Sharing information with local constituencies during the process of developing the needs assessment report.
“So stay tuned,” says Mr. Nicholson.