DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

FUNCTIONS


The Department of Housing and Community Development works to ensure available housing at all income levels, and encourage strong neighborhoods and viable communities. The Department funds or insures loans for purchase and construction of housing for low-income families; helps low- and moderate-income families buy or rehabilitate houses; and aids nonprofit organizations with grants or loans to house the elderly, developmentally disabled, and homeless. The Department also distributes federal rent subsidies to low-income families; oversees construction, including prefabricated buildings and mobile homes, to ensure that it meets building code standards; and offers weatherization and energy conservation aid to qualified groups and households.

To revitalize commercial districts and blighted areas, plan growth and resource development, and provide housing for citizens not served by the private sector, the Department funnels federal and State funds to communities and supports community action and regional development agencies.

In April 2015, the Department moved from Crownsville in Anne Arundel County to Lanham in Prince George's County.

OFFICE OF SECRETARY

7800 Harkins Road, Lanham, MD 20706

Appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, the Secretary of Housing and Community Development is chief executive officer of the Department. The Secretary sets policy, promulgates rules and regulations, and determines the strategies to fulfill the Department's mandate. The Secretary is responsible for the budget of the Department and the budgets of the boards, commissions, and offices under its jurisdiction (Code, Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 2-103, 2-104).

The Secretary chairs the Interagency Food Desert Advisory Committee, and also serves on the Governor's Executive Council, the Commerce Subcabinet, and the Smart Growth Subcabinet. In addition, the Secretary is a member of the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust; the Interagency Committee on Aging Services; the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Board; the Behavioral Health Advisory Council; the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code Advisory Council; the State Children's Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council; the Interagency Disabilities Board; the Commission on Environmental Justice and Sustainable Communities; the Financial Education and Capability Commission; the Maryland Green Building Council; the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority; the Maryland Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the Interagency Council on Homelessness; the State Coordinating Committee for Human Services Transportation; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; the Council on Open Data; the Rural Maryland Council; the Governor's Commission on Small Business; the State Center Executive Committee; and the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission.

The Secretary is assisted by the Deputy Secretary, who is appointed by the Secretary with the approval of the Governor. Reporting directly to the Secretary are four offices: Business Process Improvement; Fair Practices; Legislative and Federal Affairs; and Public Information.

BUSINESS PROCESS IMPROVEMENT
Business Process Improvement was created in November 2015 to oversee two offices: Business Performance; and Housing and Economic Research.

OFFICE OF HOUSING & ECONOMIC RESEARCH
The Housing and Economic Research Office began as the Office of Research when the Department of Economic and Community Development formed in 1970. The Office joined in 1987 the Department of Housing and Community Development. In 1995, it became the Office of Policy Analysis and Commission Support; in 1996, the Office of Research; and in 1997, Research and Statistics. By 2003, it reformed as Research and, in 2007, as the Office of Research. In July 2008, it reorganized as the Office of Policy, Planning, and Research, and in April 2015, as the Office of Research, Policy, and Legislative Affairs. Through restructuring in July 2015, it received its present name.

This office analyzes policy issues and develops legislative initiatives. It helps develop Department databases and geographic information systems for policy reporting. The Office also prepares the Consolidated Plan (for housing and economic and community development) required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Plan's annual updates, performance reports, and fair housing strategy.


DIVISION OF CREDIT ASSURANCE

7800 Harkins Road, Lanham, MD 20706

The Division of Credit Assurance started as the Division of Housing Insurance in 1987. Renamed the Division of Housing Credit Assurance in 1990 (Chapter 321, Acts of 1990), it received its present name in 1996. The Division is responsible for the Maryland Housing Fund and asset management for the multi-family loan portfolio of the Department (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 3-101 through 3-104).

MARYLAND HOUSING FUND

In 1971, the Maryland Housing Fund was established (Chapter 669, Acts of 1971). By insuring mortgage loans and employing other credit enhancements, the Fund assists State citizens of low and moderate income to secure housing. To stimulate the flow of private investment capital into Maryland for this purpose, the Fund uses a variety of innovative mortgage insurance programs (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 3-201 through 3-208).

ASSET MANAGEMENT

Asset Management began as Housing Management in the Community Development Administration. Renamed Asset Management, it transferred to the Division of Housing Credit Assurance in May 1994 and to the Division of Credit Assurance in 1996. Its functions reformed under Multifamily Asset Management in 1998. Reorganization in 2003 created Asset Management overseeing Single-Family Operations, and Multifamily Operations (now Special Assets).

Asset Management monitors and manages the Department's multifamily portfolio, including State-funded loans and bond loans insured by the Maryland Housing Fund, the Federal Housing Authority, and others. To oversee the portfolio, the unit uses automated databases, standardized procedures, and early warning indicators. The database also provides a means of monitoring performance trends of the portfolio as a whole.

Construction Loans insure mortgages to nonprofit and qualified private developers of new or rehabilitated housing for families and individuals, the elderly and the disabled. Only in combination with permanent mortgage financing are construction loans insured. The Maryland Housing Fund is the only insurer of construction loans in the State, other than the Federal Housing Administration.

Permanent Loans insure permanent mortgages to nonprofit and qualified private developers of new or rehabilitated housing. Permanent mortgage insurance is provided to multifamily projects for new construction and rehabilitation, projects receiving federal subsidies, and market-rate projects financed by eligible issuers of revenue bonds.

Portfolio Management began in 1994 under the Maryland Housing Fund and became part of the Division of Information Technology and Portfolio Management in 1996. Functions of the office were returned to the Maryland Housing Fund in 1998. For the Maryland Housing Fund, the office focuses on risk management, and analysis and planning to better position the Fund's portfolio for the future. The office has helped increase reserve funds through loan and mortgage insurance initiatives.

Special Housing Opportunities Program (SHOP) Loans provide mortgage insurance to encourage the availability of financing to nonprofit agencies for group homes to house those with special needs, including the elderly, and the developmentally and mentally challenged. Mortgage loans finance or refinance acquisition, construction, or rehabilitation of shared living or related facilities for those with special needs. The Community Development Administration is the lender for these programs.

BUILDING CODES ADMINISTRATION
Functions of the Building Codes Administration organized with the Code Enforcement Certification Board in 1971. Within the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Board became the Division of Building Codes Administration by 1975. Two years later, the Division was renamed the Codes Administration. When the Department of Housing and Community Development formed in 1987, the Administration reorganized as the Building Codes Administration under the Division of Community Assistance. In 1996, the Administration transferred to the Division of Credit Assurance.

The Administration works with local governments, design professionals, and code inspectors to guarantee that the highest performance standards are met in building construction. Enforcement of the Industrialized Buildings and Mobile Home Regulations, the Model Performance Building Code, the Maryland Accessibility Code, the Maryland Safety Glazing Law, and Maryland Energy Conservation Building Standards are the responsiblity of the Administration.

Industrialized Building Program. Established in 1971, the Program offers certification standards for any building, building subsystem, or component that is manufactured and assembled off-site (Chapter 662, Acts of 1971). The Program encourages the growth of industrialized building construction by using preemptive uniform statewide codes and standards. Building systems that are certified by the State can be used or erected anywhere in Maryland without having to comply with different local building codes, as long as they comply with local zoning laws. The Building Codes Administration also inspects mobile homes to resolve consumer complaints and enforces the standard of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Code Public Safety Article, secs. 12-301 through 12-313).

The Model Performance Building Code was adopted in 1971 (Chapter 663, Acts of 1971). Based on the National Building Code of the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), the State's Model Performance Building Code was intended by the General Assembly eventually to be adopted statewide so builders might adapt their construction practices to a single set of modern, performance-oriented standards. Compliance with that code was voluntary.

In 1993, mandatory standards - the Maryland Building Performance Standards - were enacted by the General Assembly (Chapter 200, Acts of 1993). Also based on the most recent edition of the National Building Code issued by BOCA, these standards apply to all construction permits issued on or after August 1, 1995, with two exceptions. Counties or municipalities lacking any building code had to comply by 1997; those that adopted the Standard Building Code of the Southern Building Code Congress, Inc., by 1999. Local jurisdictions may amend the Maryland Building Performance Standards to meet local needs. A central, automated database that includes the Maryland Building Performance Standards, local amendments, the State Fire Prevention Code, local fire codes, all fire code amendments, and proposed State or federal legislation that directly affects the building industry is maintained by the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Provisions to promote energy conservation in building construction were established by the Maryland Energy Conservation Building Standards Act in 1981 (Code Public Utilities Article, secs. 7-401 through 7-408).

The Building Codes Administration administers the Safety Glazing Law (Chapter 116, Acts of 1973). The law requires the use of safety glazing in certain locations for new buildings (Code Public Safety Article, secs. 12-401 through 12-407).

MARYLAND BUILDING REHABILITATION CODE PROGRAM

The Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code encourages and facilitates rehabilitation of buildings by reducing costs of and constraints on rehabilitation resulting from existing procedures and standards (Code, Public Safety Article, secs. 12-1001 through 12-1007). This program was initiated in July 2000 following passage of Chapter 206, Acts of 2000. That law authorized the Department of Housing and Community Development to adopt by regulation the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code in cooperation with the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code Advisory Council, the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, and the State Fire Marshal. The Department of Housing and Community Development submitted proposed regulations for the Code to the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review in December 2000. The regulations went into effect June 1, 2001. In April 2006, the Program and the Advisory Council transferred to the Building Codes Administration.

Most recently, the Secretary adopted by regulation the 2012 International Existing Building Code (IEBC) as the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code, effective April 1, 2013.

The Program is aided by the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code Advisory Council.


DIVISION OF DEVELOPMENT FINANCE

7800 Harkins Road, Lanham, MD 20706

The Division of Development Finance began in 1987 as the Division of Housing Finance (Chapter 311, Acts of 1987). In 1995, it received its present name (Chapter 115, Acts of 1995). The Division consists of the Community Development Administration, which operates finance programs for single- and multi-family housing with the proceeds of revenue bonds issued by the Administration. The Division runs other State housing programs as well (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 4-101 through 4-103).

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION

In 1970, the Community Development Administration formed within the Department of Economic and Community Development (Chapter 527, Acts of 1970). The Administration joined the Department of Housing and Community Development in 1987 (Chapter 311, Acts of 1987).

The Administration works to increase the supply of housing for families of limited income, the elderly, and the disabled. It also fosters sound community development and stimulates the construction industry statewide. Programs that increase home ownership, improve rental housing, build group homes, and assist owners with rehabilitated housing are overseen by the Administration. Programs are funded by the sale of tax-exempt revenue bonds; taxable bonds; State general obligation bonds; general funds; special funds generated through loan repayments, fees, and charges; and federal housing subsidies. The Administration also issues essential function bonds for the Local Government Infrastructure Program.

Projects proposed for financial assistance must comply with local priorities and complement and supplement local community development programs and initiatives. Projects also must meet eligibility criteria and financing requirements (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 4-201 through 4-216).

BOND FINANCE

To raise funds for single-family and multi-family home loans, Bond Finance sells both tax-exempt and taxable bonds. It also directs the investment and accounting of over $2.8 billion in revenue bond assets. Bond Finance reports information about the financial strength of the Community Development Administration and its debt and bond programs to the Department, investment bankers, bond holders, and rating agencies.

MULTIFAMILY & BUSINESS LENDING PROGRAMS

Multfamily and Business Lending Programs began as Community Development, reformed as Multifamily Housing Programs, and restructured under its present name in April 2015.

Under Multifamily and Business Lending Programs are two units: Business Lending, and Multifamily Housing Programs.

BUSINESS LENDING
In 1995, Business Lending began as the Neighborhood Business Development Program under the Division of Neighborhood Development. Later, it became the Neighborhood BusinessWorks Program under the Community Development Administration. In April 2015, the Program was reformed as Business Lending within the Division of Development Finance under Multifamily and Business Lending Programs.

Business Lending stimulates investment in Maryland's older communities. It aids designated neighborhoods to develop, redevelop, or expand small businesses, invests in revitalizing small businesses, and helps local governments develop and expand small businesses (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 6-301 through 6-311).

MULTIFAMILY HOUSING PROGRAMS
Multifamily Housing Programs administers lending programs to increase available housing statewide. Funds either are appropriated by the State or raised through bond sales by Bond Finance. Loans are used by borrowers to purchase single-family homes; construct or rehabilitate rental housing; finance group homes for the elderly and Marylanders with special needs; and assist homeowners with maintenance, rehabilitation, or weatherization.

Under Multifamily Housing Programs are two units: Housing Development, and Rental Service.

SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING & ENERGY PROGRAMS

In April 2014, Single-Family Housing and Energy Programs assumed oversight of Single-Family Housing Programs, and Energy Programs.

ENERGY PROGRAMS

SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSING PROGRAMS


DIVISION OF FINANCE & ADMINISTRATION

7800 Harkins Road, Lanham, MD 20706

The Division of Finance and Administration began as the Division of Finance and received its present name in 1992. The Community Development Administration, the Maryland Housing Fund, and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the Department transferred to the Division in 1994.

Advice and technical support in fiscal matters is provided by the Division to the Department's senior program directors and managers. The Division accounts for Department expenditures and revenues; manages the capital and operating budgets; processes contracts, purchasing and procurement requests; and provides financial analytical review and reporting services. For the Department, the Division oversees financial management and central support services, including telecommunication systems, and facilities and fleet management.

Six offices are overseen by the Division: Accounting; Budget; Facilities and Fleet Management Services; Maryland Housing Fund Finance and Loan Accounting; Procurement; and Systems Analysis and Reporting.


DIVISION OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

7800 Harkins Road, Lanham, MD 20706

As the Office of Data Processing under the Division of Finance and Administration, the Division of Information Technology originated in 1985. It became the Office of Research and Information Systems under the Office of Secretary in 1988. Renamed Office of Information Systems in 1994, the Office reorganized as the Division of Information Technology and Portfolio Management in 1996, and under its present name in 1998.


DIVISION OF NEIGHBORHOOD REVITALIZATION

7800 Harkins Road, Lanham, MD 20706

The Division of Neighborhood Revitalization started as the Office of Neighborhood Revitalization in 1995 and received its present name in 1996. The Division provides technical assistance, as well as grants and loans, to local governments, small developers, and nonprofit organizations. This aid helps secure and preserve affordable housing and provide community services to Marylanders of low and moderate income (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 6-101 through 6-103).

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION & POLICY

The Office of Aministration and Policy oversees three units: Community Access and Partnership; Grants Management; and Information Services.

OFFICE OF COMMUNITY ACCESS & PARTNERSHIP

Within the Division of Neighborhood Revitalization, the Office of Community Access and Partnership first organized in 2003 as the Office of Regional Assistance. It reformed as the Office of Programs and Regional Development in 2006, and the Office of Community Programs in 2008. The Office reorganized in April 2015 under its present name.

The Office of Community Access and Partnership is responsible for four programs: Community Development Block Grant; Community Food and Nutrition; Community Legacy; and Community Services Block Grant.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT
This program began in December 1996. For housing rehabilitation, commercial revitalization, economic development, infrastructure improvements, and public services, the Program provides grants to rural local governments. It assists low- and moderate-income households, removes slums and blight, and promotes State and local partnerships for development and revitalization.

COMMUNITY FOOD & NUTRITION PROGRAM
To alleviate hunger in Maryland, the Office also provides grants through this federal program to agencies that operate nutrition programs.

COMMUNITY LEGACY PROGRAM
Meant to complement existing programs, the Community Legacy Program funds comprehensive revitalization projects in communities that can demonstrate both evidence of decline and signs of strength. Sponsors, such as a local government, a group of local governments, or a community development organization, apply to the Department for financial assistance. Applications include a comprehensive revitalization plan designed to meet the needs and resources of the community to be revitalized (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 6-201 through 6-213).

COMMUNITY SERVICES BLOCK GRANT
Formerly in the Department of Human Resources, the Program moved to the Department of Housing and Community Development in 1987. Grants are awarded for administration and programs to local agencies that serve the poor. These funds currently are allocated to seventeen community action agencies and two limited-purpose agencies operating in the State.

EMERGENCY SHELTER GRANT PROGRAM
For local governments and community action agencies, this program provides federal funds to support emergency and transitional homeless shelters and services for persons without housing.

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