MACo Defends Local Homebuyer Education Authority

MACo Associate Director, Natasha Mehu, testified in support with amendments on HB 106, “Department of Housing and Community Development – Homebuyer Education Requirements,” before the House Environment & Transportation Committee on January 31, 2017.

This bill intends to streamline homebuyer education requirements for the Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Down Payment and Settlement Expense Loan Program (DSELP). As written, the bill would remove the requirement that DSELP participants also meet local homebuyer education requirements in the county in which the individual is purchasing if that county has more stringent standards.  MACo urged an amendment to the bill in order to ensure the state is able to meet its goals effectively without unintended consequences that could undermine local homebuyer education programs.

From the MACo testimony,

Local governments that offer homebuyer incentives do so to help individuals achieve the American dream of homeownership. As with the state programs, these incentives are tied to completing homebuyer education to ensure that these buyers are thoroughly informed and in the best position to handle the myriad of complicated paperwork and responsibilities that come with homeownership. Some counties have more stringent education standards than the State and do not want to see these standards weakened. As communities across Maryland continue to deal with the impacts of foreclosures, these counties are invested in ensuring that their future homeowners are prepared for the significant decision they are making in purchasing a home before they are locked in by a contract.

For more on 2017 MACo legislation, visit the Legislative Database.