ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Friday announced that the State of Maryland would renew its partnership with The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation to implement the Affordable Rental Housing Opportunities for People with Disabilities initiative.
This collaborative effort, overseen jointly by the Maryland Departments of Disabilities (MDOD), Housing and Community Development (DHCD), and Health (MDH), will finance the creation of affordable and integrated community living opportunities statewide for extremely low-income people with disabilities.
“Our state truly is stronger when all of our citizens are able to contribute to their communities and reap the rewards of those contributions,” said Governor Hogan. “By providing affordable housing for those who need it most, this program is one more way that we are working to create a safer, more inclusive, and more equitable future for all Marylanders.”
This initiative supports Marylanders with service needs and prioritizes designated populations in greatest need of housing, including young adults with aging caregivers, young adults aging out of foster care, and individuals experiencing homelessness.
“The Hogan administration is committed to expanding affordable housing for people with disabilities,” said MDOD Secretary Carol Beatty. “The Maryland Department of Disabilities looks forward to working with our sister agencies and the Weinberg Foundation to continue this important program.”
The Weinberg Foundation has committed a $3 million capital grant to the development of additional rental housing for people with disabilities who are recipients of either Social Security Income or Social Security Disability Income from the Social Security Administration. This builds on a $2 million grant issued in 2011 and an additional $2 million grant issued in 2016, which led to the production of 33 units throughout the state thus far.
“The Weinberg Foundation is proud to continue partnering with the State of Maryland on this crucial program,” said Amy Kleine, Weinberg Foundation Senior Program Director. “The Foundation is committed to providing people with disabilities the opportunity to live independently, safely, and within their communities. To that end, this partnership provides a creative mechanism to make high-quality, integrated housing accessible to those who need it most.”
DHCD will select owners of low-income housing tax credit projects for Weinberg Apartment financing after consulting with MDH and MDOD regarding amenities like accessibility features, transportation, and location. The Weinberg Foundation will review the state’s selection and consequently shift funds to DHCD to commit to the owner as part of the project’s financing package. DHCD will complete all compliance and monitoring tasks in a manner consistent with practices used for their other housing subsidy programs.
Rents for these units will be set at 10-30% of the area median income (AMI), a significantly more affordable rate that accounts for the financial circumstances faced by people with disabilities, many of whom reside at 20% of the AMI or below. It is anticipated that this iteration of program funding will become available in apartments ready to lease by early 2021.
“The Weinberg Foundation has been a valued partner in the State of Maryland’s efforts to create and preserve affordable rental housing opportunities,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Specifically, our shared work with the Foundation ensures that affordable housing options are made available to disabled individuals and their families, who often face unique challenges, economically and socially, when trying to secure a safe, affordable home.”