Under the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), notice is hereby given that the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will hold a series of public hearings to develop its new draft Annual Plan update of the State's Consolidated Plan.
The Consolidated Plan is a five-year planning document required by HUD that sets out overall Statewide goals and priorities for housing, community development, and economic development activities. Special emphasis is given under the Plan to provide assistance for extremely low-, low, and moderate-income persons. In addition to being a planning document, the Consolidated Plan also serves as the State's application to HUD for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), Housing Opportunity With AIDS (HOPWA) and the Housing Trust Fund (HTF). These funds are used primarily in the State's rural areas, as many communities, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George's Counties, as well as the Cities of Annapolis, Baltimore, Bowie, Cumberland, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Hagerstown and Salisbury receive their own funding directly from HUD. DHCD expects to receive about $4.1 million in HOME funding, $7.1 million in CDBG funding, $1 million in ESG funding, $1.8 million in HOPWA funding and $3 million in HTF funding FFY 2018. Due to Congressional matters final funding may not be determined until after public participation has occurred. DHCD will address possible adjustments in funding in this year's plan.
In addition to the above, it should also be noted that the Consolidated Plan also makes it possible for DHCD, public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations, community action agencies and others to apply for funding under HUD's competitive grant programs. Local public housing authority Plans must be consistent with the State's Consolidated Plan, and USDA Farmer's Home housing programs and Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits are also coordinated with the Plan. Lastly, while not directly covered by the Consolidated Plan, HUD funding allocations for the Section 8 Certificate and Voucher programs may be made in a way that enables jurisdictions to carry out their Consolidated Plan.
In developing its five-year Plan, the State determined it would focus its resources on four main priorities: Revitalizing Communities, Expanding the Supply of Decent Affordable Housing, Providing Homeownership Opportunities and Reducing Homelessness. The Annual Plan update (which will be for the fourth year of the current Five Year Plan) will establish one-year goals for these priorities. It is to this purpose that we are holding public hearings - to gain input regarding how to carry out these goals in the coming year.
At this point, nothing has been written for the draft Annual Plan update. These hearings are to gather initial input about what should be in the draft Annual Plan. It should be noted that HUD has changed the Annual Plan from a written document to a largely online tool using pre-filled data. DHCD will then write a draft Annual Plan, using the new online system using the data that HUD has provided, which will be released for 30 days of public comment (including written comment) at the beginning of May, 2018. After the public has had several weeks to review the draft Annual Plan, a second set of hearings will be held beginning around the third week in May. Additional comments, recommendations, and suggestions will be taken during these hearings (and during the full public comment period), with the final version of the Annual Plan submitted to HUD on or around June 18, 2018.
The first set of hearings on the development of the draft Annual Plan will be held at the following dates, times, and places:
All of the hearing rooms are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons requiring a translator should request one at least three days prior to the hearing they plan to attend. Any questions or comments should be directed to me at the address, phone numbers, or e-mail listed below:
Ms. Ja'Nai C. Streat
Senior Housing Policy Analyst
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development