July 14, 2017
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http://dhcd.maryland.gov

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 (with the exception of HTF), 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 will receive about $4.1 million in HOME funding, $7.1 million in CDBG funding, $1 million in ESG funding, $3 million in HTF funding and $1.8 million in HOPWA funding in FFY 2017.

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 third year of the current Five Year Plan) will establish one-year goals for these priorities. It is for this purpose that we are holding public hearings - to gain input regarding how to carry out these goals in the coming year.

The draft Annual Plan has been written. 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 has written a draft Annual Plan, using the new online system using the data that HUD has provided, and has opened a 14 day public comment period beginning Monday, July 10, 2017. A second set of hearings will be held beginning the third week in July. Written comments (by both email and standard mail) will also be accepted at the hearings, or may be submitted in writing through COB Sunday, July 23, 2017 (at the address listed below). The final version of the Annual Plan will be submitted to HUD on or around August 16, 2017.

The draft Annual Plan is available on-line on DHCD's website at http://dhcd.maryland.gov. It can be found under the "Publications" heading at the bottom of the website. In addition, copies of the draft Annual Plan are available at the following libraries: the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, the Blackwell Library in Salisbury, the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown, the Lewis J. Ort Library in Frostburg, the Frederick Douglas Library in Princess Anne, and the Southern Maryland Regional Library in Charlotte Hall. A large print version is available at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Baltimore. Free copies of the draft Annual Plan are also available by calling, writing, or e-mailing the address and phone numbers listed below.

The second set of hearings on the draft Annual Plan will be held at the following dates, times, and places:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Towson Library
320 York Road
Wilson Room
Towson, MD 21204

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 10:30 AM
Town of Denton
4 N. Second Street
Second Floor Training Room
Denton, MD 21629

Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 10:30 AM
Fairview Branch Library
Small Meeting Room
Rt. 4 and Chaneyville Road
Owings, Maryland 20736

Friday, July 21, 2017 at 1:30 PM
Allegany County Office Complex
701 Kelly Road
Potomac Room 230
Cumberland, MD 21502

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
7800 Harkins Road
Lanham, Maryland 20706
301-429-7445 or Maryland Relay for the Deaf at 1-800-735-2258
janai.streat@maryland.gov