The segments below provide a brief overview of MACo’s work in the area of housing and community development in the 2022 General Assembly.
When advocating for the housing and community development needs of counties MACo supports legislation that bolsters the efforts of local governments to address public and affordable housing, bight, foreclosure, and community development.
This year the Maryland General Assembly conducted a legislative session unlike any other due to the enduring COVID-19 pandemic. The unique circumstances surrounding the 443rd legislative session, including necessary health and safety measures, posed a challenge for lawmakers and advocates alike. Despite the unusual circumstances, MACo’s advocacy still led to more positive outcomes for its members.
MACo supported legislation creating a grant program aiding homeowners, local governments, and nonprofit organizations in mitigating against water damage caused by extreme weather. HB 537 Housing and Community Development – Homeowner’s Extreme Weather Mitigation and Support Grant Program failed in the General Assembly.
MACo supported legislation increasing funding for the Shelter and Transitional Housing Facilities Grant Program by $2 million beginning in fiscal year 2024. HB 608 Housing and Community Development – Shelter and Transitional Housing Facilities Grant Program – Mandated Funding failed in the General Assembly.
Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance
MACo supported legislation authorizing counties to establish laws preventing landlords from failing to renew or terminating leases without just cause. HB 881 Landlord and Tenant – Residential Leases and Holdover Tenancies – Local Just Cause Termination Provisions failed in the General Assembly.
MACo supported with amendments legislation requiring the judiciary to collect, compile, and share eviction data with the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and to State agencies and academic institutions upon request. County officials had sought an amendment, which would later be included in the legislation, to ensure their relevant agencies may also receive this vital information. HB 824 / SB 629 Landlord and Tenant – Eviction Data – Collection and Distribution passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported legislation requiring a landlord of residential property to follow certain processes and procedures concerning rental assistance programs in the State prior to filing a complaint to repossess for failure to pay rent against a tenant experiencing financial hardship, either directly or indirectly due to or during the COVID-19 pandemic. HB 367 Landlord and Tenant – Repossession for Failure to Pay Rent – Rental Assistance Programs failed in the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported legislation requiring landlords to accept electronic or written checks issued by counties assisting tenants as they exercise their right to redeem during an eviction proceeding- a perceived loophole used to evict vulnerable tenants. HB 932 / SB 592 Landlord and Tenant – Right to Redemption of Leased Premises – Form of Payment passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported legislation to provide for the stay of certain eviction proceedings when a tenant is waiting for a determination on a good faith application for rental assistance. HB 674 / SB 384 Landlord and Tenant – Stay of Eviction Proceeding for Rental Assistance Determination passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported legislation to require the court to grant a recess or a continuance in certain landlord and tenant actions and actions for wrongful detainer for certain purposes, including for the purpose of obtaining eviction prevention services. HB 691 / SB 564 Landlord and Tenant and Wrongful Detainer Actions – Eviction Protection Services failed in the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
Tenant Rights and Protections
MACo supported legislation that, among many other provisions, creates utility billing transparency measures while preserving county autonomy to craft similar policies. HB 86 / SB 6 Landlord and Tenant – Residential Leases – Tenant Rights and Protections (Tenant Protection Act of 2022) passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
MACo supported legislation requiring a landlord to comply with a county’s licensing scheme for the operation of residential rental properties prior to filing for repossession of a property. HB 703 / SB 563 Real Property – Actions to Repossess – Judgment for Tenants and Proof of Rental Licensure passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.
Resilient Maryland Revolving Loan Fund
MACo supported legislation with amendments to revise Maryland’s Resilient Maryland Revolving Loan Fund to have county governments directly provide loans to private property owners for hazard mitigation projects. MACo had requested and received amendments to the bill concerning costs associated with loan forgiveness and counties’ ability to opt- in or out. HB 1312 / SB 814 Public Safety – Resilient Maryland Revolving Loan Fund – Alterations passed the General Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature.