October 16, 2012
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
DHCD will hold a series of events next year to offer assistance to homeowners interested in refinancing their home loans.
Modeled after the agency’s successful “Mortgage Late? Don’t Wait!” foreclosure prevention workshops, the events will educate homeowners about their refinance options, connect consumers with lenders and offer the opportunity to receive free housing counseling, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown announced Tuesday during the opening session of the Governor’s Housing Conference.
The new initiative could affect thousands of financially stressed homeowners throughout the state who are not facing foreclosure but feel trapped by their negative equity position in homes they can scarcely afford, says Secretary Skinner.
Roughly one in four Maryland homeowners remain underwater on their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their home is worth. In a real sense, they have been the forgotten group in the housing crisis of the past several years as the bulk of the nation’s resources were devoted to helping those facing foreclosure.
The theme of the 2012 Governor’s Housing Conference, “Restoring Communities Across Maryland: Creating Jobs … Expanding Housing Choice,” reflects the significant role a healthy housing market plays in generating jobs, stabilizing neighborhoods and helping families of all walks of life establish a foundation upon which they can build toward the future.
Other conference highlights:
Democratic Senator Ben Cardin headlines a panel of key lawmakers who will address how issues such as sequestration could affect housing and community development programs in Maryland. Fourth District Congresswoman Donna Edwards and Delegate Stephen Lafferty also are on the panel.
Undersecretary for Domestic Finance Mary J. Miller, one of the top officials overseeing housing finance policies in the Obama administration, will deliver the keynote address during the luncheon session.
The conference comes as the state’s housing market is showing signs of recovery. September housing data released by the Maryland Association of Realtors showed that compared to last year, home sales increased for the fifth consecutive month, housing inventory declined for the 19th consecutive month, and the median home sales price rose for the eight consecutive month
Meanwhile, the demand for affordable rental housing is growing, as more and more working families either choose not to own or are unable to qualify for a mortgage under today’s tightened lending standards.
How the state can meet that demand in a still fragile economy is just one of the issues tackled by the conference workshops and seminars at the 2012 Governor’s Housing Conference.
Conference workshops and seminars will be divided along four tracks, “Strengthening Vibrant Communities,” Homeownership Now,” “Rental Housing Financing,” and “Advancing Green Initiatives.”
The 2012 Governor’s Housing Conference is being held at the Baltimore Hilton. Visit DHCD’s website at mdhousing.org to learn more about the conference of follow DHCD on Facebook or Twitter for live updates throughout the day.