Governor Martin O'Malley today, joined by House Speaker Michael E. Busch, Maryland Department of Housing Secretary Raymond A. Skinner, affordable housing advocates, and other officials, announced $25 million in the Administration's proposed FY2014 capital budget for Rental Housing Works, an initiative launched last year to create jobs and address Maryland's critical shortage of affordable rental housing for working families, senior citizens and individuals with special needs. This year's investment will preserve over 1,100 new affordable rental housing units and support 1,900 jobs.
The FY2014 budget will continue the Administration's commitment to job creation, rebuilding the state's infrastructure, building state-of-the-art classrooms, and contributing to Maryland's communities. Over the past six years, the O'Malley-Brown Administration has made more cuts than any administration in state history, but through a balanced approach, continues to make strategic investments in priorities that matter to Maryland families like job creation and affordable housing.
"There is no more powerful place in our State than a family's home, and there is nothing more important for protecting that home than a job," said Governor O'Malley. "Over these past six years, even as we've made record cuts to State spending, together with the people of our State, we've chosen to invest in priorities that matter to middle class families. That's why today, we're announcing $25 million for Rental Housing Works, an investment that will support 1,900 jobs and preserve over 1,100 affordable housing units in our State."
The Governor made the announcement at the construction site for the Obery Court apartments near downtown Annapolis where last year, during Phase II of the project, the Administration first launched the Rental Housing Works Program. Since then, 63 rental units have been completed of 174 units planned in three phases.
"All over Maryland, we have helped finance the production of attractive, desirable new homes such as we see here at Obery Court," Secretary Skinner said. "These are projects that create jobs, strengthen communities and provide first-class places to live for families, senior citizens and disabled individuals."
Trudy McFall, president of the Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition, said the Rental Housing Works initiative has been a top priority for her advocacy group."We are extremely grateful to the governor for his decision to include this in his budget for a second year. The Rental Housing Works initiative creates high quality private sector jobs and will provide badly needed rental housing," she said.
Under the leadership of Governor O'Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, even in the toughest of times, Maryland has continued to support affordable lending programs for families. To date, the Administration has helped preserve more than 13,196 rental units in 145 projects.